A Barbour ABI report released on January 23 indicates that over 18,000 new-build social homes have been constructed in the North West in 2012. It’s a total that surpasses similar activity in the other UK regions.
Barbour ABI, which provides construction data to the Office for National Statistics and the Government, has released new data revealing that between 2012 and 2014, the North West was the site of an 18,000 new build social houses, with an estimated spend of £1.8 billion. All other regions pale in comparison, with London hosting 14,300 similar builds, 7,200 in Scotland and 1,500 in Wales.
The data also reveals that in 2014 more than 3,700 contracts were awarded in the North West to begin construction on new build social homes. Once again, this total dwarfed other figures across the country.
City West Housing Trust, which is based in the North West and is presently investing close to £75 million to build over 600 new flats, bungalows, and homes by 2018, predicts that more social housing will be delivered in the North West as time progresses.
The housing association’s Director for Investment and Regeneration, Nigel Sedman, said that the North West is facing a huge challenge, with growing demand for social housing creating massive waiting lists. The issue has long been recognised, however, and City West and other housing associations have received support from the Homes and Communities Agency that enables them to sustain ambitious development schemes.
Mr. Sedman said that the UK is in the midst of the major housing crisis, and the obvious solution is to build more homes in places where people want to live. There is a lot more work that needs to be done to construct the social housing that is badly needed, and as long as land remains available, the construction trend will continue in the region.
Michael Dall, Barbour ABI lead economist, said that the economic downturn made it more difficult for councils and developers to finance new programmes for affordable housing, largely due to lack of suitable land, cutbacks in government spending, and funding constraints. Regardless, the North West experienced the highest number of social housing builds in the UK, proving that the region had been committed to supply social housing despite significant challenges.