This June, analysis of official statistics revealed that over the past seven years, there has been a phenomenal 97% drop in the number of government-funded socially-rented homes being built in England each year.
Austerity measures have seen direct central government support for all public bodies fall, but since 2010 the money housing associations receive from the government for each new home has dwindled from about 50% to closer to 20%, according to Adam Morton, a policy leader at the National Housing Federation.
“As the level of public subsidy has fallen, so the level of private finance has gone up,” he says.
At the same time, an overall tightening of the money markets after 2008 has made it harder for housing associations to get the long-term funding deals from banks that they need. Their response has been to look at other ways to raise finance, including issuing bonds on the capital market.
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