Tackling England’s housing crisis would boost economy by £3.6 billion

England would get a shot in the arm of £3.6 billion and 71,000 full-time jobs would be created or sustained if more affordable homes were built now to help tackle the housing crisis, according to the National Housing Federation.

Experts have warned that the nation needs to build 78,500 affordable homes per year to keep pace with demand, yet last year less than a quarter of this amount were built – 20,000. Building more affordable homes would also help the 1.37 million households stranded on waiting lists for affordable housing across the country.London alone would benefit from an annual cash injection of £1.3 billion if enough affordable homes were built to meet the city’s demand. Building more affordable homes in London would also support more than 20,000 jobs by creating new employment opportunities and keeping people in work – these could be jobs in newly boosted businesses or housing associations themselves.

The news comes as it emerged last week that nationally just one affordable home has been built for more than every five homes sold under the Right to Buy scheme, despite government commitments to replace every home sold under the scheme with a new one.

David Orr, Chief Executive at the National Housing Federation said: “There are simply not enough affordable homes being built; people across the country are struggling to find the homes they need at a price they can afford. Not building the homes we’re going to need represents a failing of generations to come, and a missed opportunity today.

“These numbers show that new homes are more than just roofs over heads; they bring wealth to local areas and improve job prospects. That’s why we’re asking that politicians commit to ending the housing crisis within a generation by building more homes now.”

The National Housing Federation is part of the Homes for Britain campaign which is calling on the next government to end the housing crisis within a generation. For the first time the entire housing sector, ranging from housing associations and architects to private developers, planners and architects, are jointly calling on the next government to publish a year-long plan within a year of taking office outlining how they will tackle the housing crisis over the next 25 years.

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