The number of new affordable homes in England more than halved last year

Emma Haslett
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Affordable housing in the UK is falling (Source: Getty)

The number of new affordable homes in England fell by more than half last year, new figures have suggested.

Figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government showed the number of new affordable homes built in 2015-2016 fell to 32,110, down from 66,600 the year before.

The figures, which take in newly-built affordable homes and new homes acquired by housing associations, showed the number of housing under affordable home ownership schemes fell to just 3,430, from 15,970 the year before.

The report pointed out that the supply of new homes tends to peak towards the end of each affordable housing programme.

"As part of a house building cycle, delivery is normally lower in the first year of any new housing programme."

But housing charity Shelter was less impressed.

“At a time when this country is crying out for more genuinely affordable homes, these figures are not only shocking but unacceptable," said Anne Baxendale, its head of policy and public affairs.

In last year's Autumn Statement, George Osborne set a target of 400,000 new affordable homes by 2020 - although research has suggested the country as a whole needs 300,000 new homes a year to keep up with demand.

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