Housing crisis: only 1.4 per cent of Sheffield’s new-builds affordable

Only 97 out of 6,943 homes approved by planners in Sheffield between 2016 and 2017 met the government’s affordable definition.

Despite the fact that house prices in Sheffield grew faster last year than in any other UK city according to property group Zoopla, an investigation by The Guardian showed that Sheffield city council have not put provisions in place to tackle the housing crisis for those who are most vulnerable to it.

According to the government, “affordable” homes are classified as those which are offered for social rent, or rented for 80% or below of the local market rate.

Many councils across the UK have the power to determine what percentage of any new developments should fall under the “affordable” bracket, yet in areas including Gleadless, Manor, East and North East Sheffield, there is no requirement for developers to provide affordable homes.

Currently, out of all the new homes granted planning permission in Sheffield, only 1.4 per cent are affordable although the national average is 16 per cent.

While in the South and South-West of the city, developers are meant to transfer 30% of stock to registered providers of affordable housing. Developers can bypass these quotas if they can prove it would not be economically viable.

In the city centre, where developers are also not required to contribute to affordable housing, deals for multi-storey student accommodation continue to be struck.

Earlier today, Theresa May condemned the national housing crisis as one of the “biggest barriers to social mobility we face today” in a housing speech.

Although the Prime Minister emphasised the government’s push to build more homes, alongside an extra £10 billion which will be invested into the Help to Buy scheme, little attention was given to the lack of ‘affordable’ homes.