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Chartered Institute of Housing calls on government to protect affordable housing budget and build 135,000 homes a year

The Chartered Institute of Housing has called on chancellor George Osborne to use next month’s emergency Budget to increase funding to the Affordable Homes programme and ensure 135,000 affordable homes are built annually.

Ahead of the 8 July Budget, the CIH urged the chancellor to “maintain and improve” the AHP to help meet the estimated 220,000 homes it says need to be built each year until 2022.

The government is committed to providing 275,000 affordable homes by 2019/20 – a rate of 55,000 per year.

However, the CIH has said this is not enough and suggested the target should be to raised to 135,000 per year.

To achieve this, the CIH said the chancellor should review the provision for the AHP during the current year to recognise the scale of need and consider redeploying the Department for Communities and Local Government’s housing capital allocations from 2016/17.

In its submission to the chancellor, the CIH also said the government should increase borrowing caps imposed on local authorities to help them build more homes.

CIH deputy chief executive Gavin Smart said: “As we continue to face a housing supply crisis, it’s critical the government does everything it can to support housing associations and councils to develop new affordable homes, to maximise the role they can play in building new homes alongside private developers.

“A welcome first step would be to confirm that the commitment in last year’s autumn statement to fund 275,000 new affordable homes remains in place.

“We think the government should also be looking at other steps it can take to support new affordable housebuilding, including by local authorities.”

DCLG figures for the three months to May 2015 showed that completions for the quarter were at their highest level for six years.

This was largely driven by a massive 24 per cent rise in the number of housing association completions.

However, the CIH said at the time that the figure still meant the UK was building “only half” of the homes needed to keep up with demand.

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