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Housing cuts pose threat to jobs

Almost 300,000 construction industry jobs could be lost if the Government cuts the affordable housing budget, it has been warned.

The National Housing Federation said 283,000 construction jobs would either be axed or not created if the budget was slashed by 40 per cent.

The warning came alongside the claim that a 40 per cent cut would see 230,000 fewer homes being built between now and 2020.

The NHF has claimed this could put an additional 570,000 people on housing waiting lists.

It added that the wider economy would also suffer, with the cuts reducing economic activity by £50 billion during the coming 10 years.

But the rise in demand for new homes has coincided with a slump in the number being built, with only 123,000 properties completed during the year to the end of March, the lowest level since the Second World War.

The warning comes after the Treasury asked government departments to plan for cuts of up to 40 per cent to their budgets, ahead of October’s spending review.

National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said: “Given the scale of the nation’s housing crisis, it is critical that the nation keeps building affordable housing.”