Black Country and Staffordshire housing target missed by 8,000
Barely half the number of homes needed in the Black Country and Staffordshire were built over the past four years, new figures have revealed.
Between 2011 and 2014 it was estimated that 18,062 homes needed to be built in the region, but only 9,980 were, a shortfall of more than 45 per cent.
Sandwell was the worst performing area with a shortfall of 62.9 per cent. It needed to build 4,885 to keep up with demand but only built 1,810, a difference of 3,075.
Councillor Darren Cooper, leader of Sandwell Council, said:
"Following the government's surprise of a one per cent rent reduction announcement, all stock owning authorities are having to re-evaluate their business plans and determine the impact of the rent reduction.
"Inevitably the council's investment programme will change as a result. Sandwell has maximised all other sources of funding to deliver more homes in the borough.
"The council and local housing associations have delivered homes for rent and sale using programmes from the Homes and Communities Agency."
Elsewhere, the figures from the National Housing Federation for the BBC's Inside Out show Wolverhampton needed 2,250 homes but only built 1,500, South Staffordshire needed 1,158 but built 520, Cannock Chase needed 1,085 but managed 630 while Stafford needed 1,953 but only built 820.
Councillor Peter Bilson, Wolverhampton council's deputy leader , said: "As part of the Black Country Core Housing Strategy the City of Wolverhampton Council has a target of 13,400 homes to be built between 2006 and 2026.
"Like the majority of local authorities we are currently behind schedule in meeting our target. But we have identified a great deal of development land and the number of planning applications being converted into dwellings is increasing.
"Our projections show we are on course to get back on track with our target by 2018."
William Conaghan, a spokesperson for Stafford County Council, said: "The build rate is increasing – and an example of this is that this year nearly 350 houses have already been constructed on one site alone in Stafford.
Figures for Dudley suggest they needed to build 2,510 but only built 1,620. But Dudley Council say they built 2,287, a shortfall of just 223 as opposed to 890.
Councillor Gaye Partridge, Dudley's cabinet member for housing, said: "I am confident Dudley is striving to build its new build quotas."
Walsall was the only area to meet its target, as it needed 1,948 and built 2,210.
Councillor Adrian Andrew, deputy council leader, said: "This doesn't come as a surprise as we have excellent working relationships with housing providers and developers."
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