Housing programmes delivered by Homes England saw an overall decrease in starts and completions in the first half of 2020-21 compared to the same period last year, according to official statistics released today (8 December).
There were 11,313 new houses started on site and 11,358 homes completed through programmes managed by Homes England between 1 April and 30 September 2020. Starts on site were down by 38 per cent and completions were down 25 per cent, compared with the same period last year.
The national lockdown introduced on 16 March 2020 resulted in Homes England’s delivery partners immediately pausing on some sites and implementing social distancing on others, with partners reporting anywhere between 60% and 100% of employees and contractors not able to be onsite.
In anticipation of the impact of lockdown on housing delivery, Homes England worked with government to secure an extension to the SOAHP. The agreement the housing agency secured focused on providing extensions on delivery dates and re-profiling budgets, meaning its delivery partners would have certainty on the grant funding underpinning their current grant-funded delivery pipeline.
In late-March, construction insight data showed that almost 1,900 schemes had been closed or delayed, directly affecting the completion of nearly 240,000 new homes.
As construction workers returned to sites in April and May, social distancing requirements continued to mean fewer staff and contractors on site. Partners reported reduced capacity on site and sites being mothballed increased the average build-out time by three to eight months, delaying completions and starts on site.