He told the meeting that there must be a specific target for the number of affordable homes built. Research done for the Assembly indicates around 11,630 affordable homes per year is required to meet current levels of housing need in the region.
There are currently more than 3000 homeless households in temporary accommodation in the East of England, and almost 150,000 households on council housing waiting lists. Yet the region has never planned for or built enough affordable homes, and Shelter believes this must now be the top priority for the Assembly.
Spencer said: "At the moment the Regional Plan calls for 35% of all new homes to be affordable housing but so far it has fallen well short of that target.
"The current economic crisis has greatly reduced the total amount of house building, which in turn means far fewer affordable homes have been built, while the need for them continues to grow.
"We understand the concerns about preserving the Greenbelt in Hertfordshire, but we believe that with intelligent, informed debate we can deliver the homes that are desperately needed in the area while protecting valuable green spaces."
He added: "The only way to meet that need is to set a target for the number we should build, and then enable councils and housing associations to deliver those homes. Please respond to the Assembly’s consultation, and tell them how important it is to build enough affordable homes."
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