Affordable housing in short supply.

THE number of new homes being built in Boston is on the rise, but the amount of affordable housing is still generally lagging behind what’s needed.

A depressed housing market and a struggling construction industry have been blamed for issues in securing new affordable homes for people looking to get on the housing ladder in the borough.

The news comes just weeks after a development of 30 affordable homes in Wyberton was refused by councillors who thought it was over-intensive and dominated existing homes.

Fiona Todd, Boston Borough Council’s housing strategy and enabling officer, told the Standard: “The reality now is that cuts in Government grants for affordable housing, the construction industry being in the doldrums, and major consideration needing to be given to the viability of any development, including the percentage of affordable homes, has seen a downturn in new homes being delivered.”

The Home Builders Federation recently issued a report calling for the government to ‘stand firm’ on housing proposals to ensure that more homes are built to relieve the looming housing crisis.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF, said in a recent statement: “Government must stand firm and deliver a robust planning system that provides enough land to meet the nation’s housing needs. Continuing to under-deliver housing is storing up huge social and economic problems for the years ahead and it must be addressed.

“Building the homes we need would take millions off social housing waiting lists and enable beleaguered first-time buyers to buy their own home. It could also create half a million new jobs, so giving the country a huge economic boost.”

Figures suggest that around 230 new homes must be approved in Boston every year in order for supply to meet demand. Over the past six years the council has approved an average of 275.

The percentage of affordable homes delivered was around 17 per cent - well below the 30 per cent requirement. But, in the last year, the number has increased, showing an improving picture.

Ms Todd added: “The housing and planning teams continue to work with developers and registered providers to bring forward sites for affordable homes, as demonstrated in the recently-approved exception site at Sutterton for 20 affordable homes.”