More affordable homes were built in Bolton, new figures show, reflecting the trend across the country.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities figures show 255 affordable homes were completed in Bolton in 2022-23 – up from 229 during the same period the year before.

The figures include social and affordable rental properties, affordable home ownership, shared ownership and first homes.

The number of social rent homes, however, has seen a fall in the last decade, with affordable rent now the most common housing for new supply.

Social rental properties are for low-income families and typically cost about 50 per cent of market rents, while affordable housing is provided to low-income earners and can be charged up to 80 per cent of market rents.

In Bolton, 175 affordable rent homes and 80 shared ownership dwellings were delivered.

Across the country, there were also 71,000 affordable dwellings started on site in 2022-23, with 391 of those in Bolton.

Andrew Cardwell, managing director of Cardwells Estate Agents, said: “It’s encouraging news for our Bolton community that more affordable homes have been built over the last year and this is clearly a step in the right direction.

“But it is it enough? The actual rise is only an additional 26 properties for the last 12 months when compared to the previous year, when there was 229 built.

“There is certainly a strong demand for good quality new build, affordable homes across our town and this is a market that I would expect to remain strong for the foreseeable future. 

“As, like these figures suggest, there is not a great supply of new build affordable houses to the Bolton property market.

“I would think that there is sufficient pent-up demand for additional building of this nature which could be crystallised by developers in the future, while providing a great addition to the property stock of Bolton that meets the needs of our community.  

“Shared ownership is also a superb way for excellent new build property stock to be available to as many people as possible.

“In these arrangements the buyer purchases a percentage share of a home (perhaps 50 per cent or 75 per cent) and lives there, whilst renting the remaining share that has not been purchased.

“Some of the shared home ownership schemes that are available offer a superb route to property ownership, and there were around 80 new build properties provided to the Bolton property market, some by exceptional builders.”    

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “The government’s statistics show that despite the escalating housing emergency, not enough has changed and we are still miles away from building the number of social homes we need.

“Every day in our frontline services we see the impact of the decades of failure to build social homes in this country.

“We need urgent action to address the housing emergency.

“All political parties must commit to the only real, lasting solution, which is to build a new generation of safe and affordable social homes with rents tied to local incomes.”

In response to the figures, a Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson said: “We are already investing in more affordable and social homes, and since 2010 have delivered more than 684,800 new affordable homes, including more than 171,100 homes for social rent.

“Our £11.5bn Affordable Homes Programme will deliver thousands of affordable homes for both rent and to buy right across the country.”

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