Monday, 18 June 2012

Affordable Homes Statistics Argument

Affordable Homes Statistics Argument

2 polar opposite press releases have been reported recently.  On one side the Housing Minister Grant Shapps refers to the number of affordable houses being built as having undergone a “rapid and dramatic increase”.  On the other hand the Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromey states that there has been a “disastrous collapse” in the number of affordable houses.

This appears to stem from the fact that statistics can be interpreted in several ways and often are.  In November of 2011 Labour stated that there had been a “97% fall in affordable new housing” in the first 6 months of 2011-2012.  This was due to the fact that during that period only 429 new affordable homes were built, obviously this is a worrying figure and caused concern about the future of housing.  However in the following 6 months 15,269 affordable houses were built.  If the previous figure of 429 is compared to this, this could be reported as being a 3,500% increase in the construction of affordable housing!!  This shows how difficult it is to use sets of statistics to give a realistic overview of a situation.

 The large fluctuation between these sets of figures was actually caused by a transition period from the previous policy for Labour’s affordable housing programme in which central Government money was used for funding  to the new system in which public money is used to encourage developers to make their own investments in affordable housing.  Furthermore the different position of the Housing Minister and the Shadow Housing Minister seems to have developed because  the Government believes that the contracts currently being signed will deliver 170,000 new affordable homes over the next couple of years, however the Shadow Housing Minister’s position is that these projections are impossible to achieve. 

Due to the lengthy timescale involved in implementing any new policies and new procedures it will not be possible to see which projections are correct for a number of years. Hopefully for the sake of the housing market we can look to the housing minister’s view of matters.

If you or a member of your family are looking to purchase or sell a property and you would like a quotation from one of our specialised Conveyancing Solicitors, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 100 2741 or visit our website at  You can also follow us on twitter (@ForsterDeanLimited) and find Forster Dean Solicitors on Facebook.

Louise Lomax LLB (Hons)

Conveyancing Solicitor
Published 18th June 2012

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