‘Not enough new house builds’

People on the council housing list are “suffering” after new figures reveal a reduction in new homes being built over the last two years.

Labour’s Bedford Mayoral candidate Penny Fletcher has criticised Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association (bpha) and Bedford Borough Council after new figures were released.

Statistics show that house building in the borough has dropped by 28 per cent, while the construction of homes by housing associations has reduced by 58 per cent since 2011/12.

However, a council spokesman said more houses in Bedford have been built over the last two years than in the past seven years.

Penny said: “Failing to build enough homes is one thing, but to then compound the problem by making innocent people pay the price is crossing the line.

“The council must take a more active role to ensure this problem is addressd by housing associations.”

The council and bpha are currently looking at revising the criteria on who qualifies for social housing in Bedford Borough.

In 2011/12 290 houses were built by housing associations, while only 120 were completed in 2012/13.

Last year 95 homes were built by bpha, with just 11 completed to date this year - however the association says it expects to complete another 41 by the end of the financial year. A council spokesman said targets for social housing were being met.

They said: “The council wants even more houses to be built and has granted planning permission for a further 7,483 homes which are awaiting development.”




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