HCA plays down blank half-year

There were no new starts on site in the North West funded out of the Homes & Communities Agency's affordable homes programme in the first six months of this fiscal year.

Figures produced by the HCA show the region trailing last out of the nine in the HCA structure. The West Midlands was top with 187 units started on site between April and the end of September.

However, Deborah McLaughlin, HCA's executive director for the North West, argued that the figures were misleading. She said: "The recently announced figures for starts of new affordable homes need to be put in context. Last year, in the North West, we completed all new starts of the National Affordable Housing Programme, leaving no delayed schemes to count statistically for this financial year. We have worked closely with our registered provider and local authority partners to build the new Affordable Homes Programme to start delivering this year. We have had a great response to this and are now set to provide over 9,300 new homes across the North West over the next four years.

"So far, we have agreed 15 contracts collectively worth £122m to deliver 6,224 new homes in the North West by 2015. These contracts include deals agreed with key providers such as Great Places Housing Association, worth £35m, Symphony Housing Group, £12.1m, and Adactus, £10m.

"This investment will have a positive impact on housing delivery over the coming months and the second half of this financial year will see the number of housing starts increase significantly."

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This just highlights the way affordable housing provision is made in this country needs a substantial overhaul. Particularly in light of vastly reduced grants.

By Paul

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