No social housing built in South Tyneside in past year as plea comes for ‘genuinely affordable homes’

Housing experts say too few social rental homes are being built.
Housing experts say too few social rental homes are being built.

No new homes were built for social rental in South Tyneside last year, new figures show

The Chartered Institute of Housing has criticised the slowdown in building the most affordable properties, saying they are needed to tackle a national housing crisis.

In 2007-08, 65 homes were completed in South Tyneside for social rental and social home building in the area peaked in 1992-93, when 169 homes were completed – more than in the last six years combined.

No social rental homes started being built last year in South Tyneside.

Some housing deemed by the Government to be affordable was completed in the area last year - 134 affordable housing units were built for affordable rental - meaning rental costs are pegged at 80% of the average local market rate.

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “The council provides approximately 17,000 homes for social rent. This means that one in four of all homes in South Tyneside are available for social rent.

“We also continue to deliver around 100 new affordable homes each year. Most of these are delivered through South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust and have had grant support from Homes England.

“It is important that the housing market provides a mix of property types at a range of prices to meet the varying needs of our residents. The council is working hard with a range of partners to ensure we have a balanced housing market with a range of options for people to rent or buy including shared ownership.”

Chartered Institute of Housing head of policy and external affairs, Melanie Rees, said: “It’s disappointing to see that so few of those homes are at the lowest social rents - the only truly affordable option for many people on lower incomes.

“We desperately need more genuinely affordable homes to tackle our national housing crisis and rising levels of homelessness.”

Ms Rees said that CIH research showed more than 150,000 homes for social rent were lost between 2012 and 2017, with the figure anticipated to reach 230,000 by 2020 unless immediate action is taken.

Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse, said: “We are determined that more people in need can have access to a good quality home, and have delivered over 293,000 homes for affordable rent since 2010.”