Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Build Tiny Fraction of New Homes

Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Build Tiny Fraction of New Homes

Article excerpt

A brief surge in house-building by local authorities in England has failed to increase the number of council homes significantly, government figures reveal.

Just 30 new homes were completed by councils in the final quarter of 2007, according to the figures, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government on February 14. This compares with 259 in the first six months of last year and 46 in the corresponding quarter of 2006.

While council homes make up a small fraction of the total number of properties built annually in England, the government is relying on local authorities to help it achieve its goal of 3 million new homes by 2020. Between 2004/05 and 2005/06, the number of homes completed by councils rose from 100 to 299. But this fell back to 245 in 2006/07.

John Perry, policy adviser at the Chartered Institute of Housing, said he expected councils to continue building between 200 and 300 homes annually for a few more years until measures announced in last year's housing green paper took effect. …

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