Another £270m of government money is to be invested in affordable housing, as two major housebuilders announce the loss of 1900 jobs.
In the last two days Barratt and Taylor Wimpey have announced that they are to lose 1,000 and 900 jobs, respectively. Barratt is closing two divisions and merging eight others, according to Building magazine, while Taylor Wimpey announced yesterday the closure of 13 offices and 900 redundancies. The housebuilder said that reservations on new houses were 45% lower in the last six months than they had been the year before. Completetions were down by a third.
The housing minister Caroline Flint has announced another £270m is to be invested in the Housing Corporation for the construction of an extra 3,800 homes for rent in the social housing sector.
She also released plans for a ‘national clearing house’ for property whereby developers can sell their unsold housing stock via the Housing Corporation. This is in addition to the £200m already committed to purchase surplus stock from housebuilders for use as social or affordable housing.
Flint says that these measures are necessary in order to avoid the risk of the housing market running away with itself again when the market does pick up. What the government emphatically does not want she said is “another unsustainable property boom, making homes even more unaffordable for first time buyers and growing families.”