Barking and Dagenham is one of the worst areas in the country for meeting its house-building target
PUBLISHED: 15:27 21 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:27 21 August 2018
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Barking and Dagenham is one of the country’s worst local authorities for meeting its government house-building target, a new analysis shows.
On average 468 new homes were built each year in the decade since the global financial crash, according to government figures. These include conversations of existing properties, as well as new builds.
This accounts for barely a fifth (22 per cent) of the government’s estimate of how many new homes the borough needs each year — which represents 2,089 properties — or 37pc of the council’s own estimate (1,264 properties).
Barking and Dagenham, therefore, has the seventh lowest proportion of homes created relative to government estimates out of 333 local authorities analysed.
The figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) span 2007/08 to 2016/17 — the last full year of data available.
They show the borough’s house-building has not yet returned to pre-crash levels. Here, 716 additional homes popped up in 2007/08 compared to 596 in 2016/17.
The figures, compiled by the BBC and shared with the Post, show housing demand poses a particular problem in Barking and Dagenham, where 15pc of land is green belt, heritage or space otherwise protected or restricted from development.
Prime minister Theresa May said we need to “fix the broken housing market” last year.
While 217,000 new homes were created in England in 2016/17, representing a five-year high, this fell significantly short of the latest government target of 300,000 new homes a year.
“This government is committed to building a housing market fit for the future,” said a MHCLG spokesman.
The 217,000 figure, he said, represented a rise of 15pc on the previous year and “the highest increase in nine years”.
“We have also set out an ambitious programme of reforms to boost housing supply – including planning reform and targeted investment to help us deliver an additional 300,000 properties a year by the mid-2020s,” the spokesman added.
Cllr Cameron Geddes, Barking and Dagenham Council’s housing spokesman, said: “Although there has been a historical shortfall in house building across the capital, the council is doing all it can to try and provide social housing and, through Reside, offer affordable alternatives to private renting.
“Between 2010 and 2017, a third of all homes built in the borough have been council properties, but despite building over 1,000 homes we know this isn’t enough and we need to do more. Last year, we set up Be First, our regeneration company, to help accelerate development in Barking and Dagenham and work with the Mayor of London to maximise the potential of our borough’s brownfield sites and deliver around 50,000 homes over the next 20 years.
“Sadly, the fact of the matter is, until this Government changes course and faces up to the true scale of the housing crisis it will be difficult to keep up with demand.”