The number of social rent homes delivered by housing associations in the final three months of last year is the highest since the National Housing Federation (NHF) began collecting development figures in 2016. Housing starts across the sector rose, up almost 10% at 11,420 for the three-month period covering October to December.

The figure was also nearly 500 homes higher than the previous three-month record of 1,228 in the first quarter of 2016/17. The rise in social rent starts coincides with a increase in the amount of available grant for associations to deliver this tenure of home.

Of the 11,456 homes completed across the quarter, 85% were affordable, including 1,300 which were for social rent while 1,236 were for market sale.

Homes England, the Government’s housing delivery agency, has said it will support the delivery of 130,000 homes under it’s Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme by March 2023, including at least 12,500 social rent homes.

Monica Burns, head of member relations at the NHF, said: “This shows that the sector is continuing to build now, but there is a risk that economic and political uncertainty could start to take its toll. This means that public investment is more vital than ever if we want to be serious about building enough affordable housing.”

The research  found that the majority of development is taking place in London and the South East, with comparatively fewer homes being built in the North East and Yorkshire/ Humber areas. Housing associations are also building fewer homes for market rent than ever – just 30 market rented homes were started in the period, compared with 684 in the same quarter two years previously.

Source: Inside Housing