Even as affordable housing is the new buzz word in the UK property market, the latest figures released by the Department of Communities and Local Government show that the total number of new affordable homes reduced by 50 per cent during 2015-2016 when compared to the previous year in England.

This finding is a sign of worry for the stakeholders for the housing sector especially when the residential property prices are hitting the roof.

In 2014-15, 66,600 affordable houses were built with 40,730 units of them under the Affordable Rent category. However, in 2015-16, the total number of total affordable houses built was 32,110 with 16,550 falling under the Affordable Rent category. The number of units under the Intermediate Affordable Housing was 9,010 in 2015-16 as against 16,300 in 2014-15. The number of units under the Affordable Home Ownership category also reduced to 3,430 from a high of 15,970 in 2014-15.

The only relief was during 2015-16 was that 4,110 homes were built under the Shared Ownership as opposed to none in 2014-15. Likewise, the number of units built under the Intermediate Rent category saw an increase to 1,480 from 330 in 2014-15. These findings suggest an immediate need for pushing affordable housing in a big way in England.

The government, the local authorities and other stakeholders of the housing sector need to join hands to evolve innovative plans to meet the demand for affordable housing.