Home building in Northumberland hit by pandemic

The number of new houses being built in Northumberland was hit hard by the coronavurus pandemic last year.

By Alex Ross
Monday, 25th January 2021, 1:22 pm
New home building has fallen in Northumberland
New home building has fallen in Northumberland

New data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government shows that work started on around 740 new homes in the area between January and September last year.

That was 34% down on the same period last year when work started on 1,120 new homes.

These figures were worse than national trend which saw a 26% fall in new home builds, and housing charity Shelter says the country is facing a worsening housing crisis.

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Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said: “It’s good developers have found ways to start building homes gain while the pandemic continues, but compared to a year ago, housebuilding starts are down.

“We already have a dire shortage of genuinely affordable homes, and we cannot risk that getting worse.

“The problem isn’t just the pandemic, it’s the economy. If it continues to shrink, the housing market will stall, and we will have an even bigger housing crisis in our hands.”

Nationally, work started on 91,000 new homes in the first nine months of last year, a 26% fall from the same period in 2019.

A spokesperson for the MHCLG said: “We delivered 244,000 homes in 2019/20 – the highest in over 30 years – and doubled the number of homes started in the last quarter compared to the one before.

“During the pandemic we have taken decisive action to support the industry. We are delivering the new homes the country needs through our £12bn Affordable Homes Programmes and reform of the planning system. “