HOUSEBUILDING is still in a slump in Hampshire, the Daily Echo can reveal.
The number of “affordable homes” being built fell from 1,940 in the year the Coalition came to power to 840 last year – a fall of 57 per cent.
In Southampton, 240 cheaper properties were completed in 2013-14, down 53 per cent on the 510 built in 2010-11.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has claimed its record on affordable housing since 2010 was a “clear success story”.
It trumpeted that nearly 200,000 such homes – available at lower rents or for shared ownership – had been built, including 1,330 in Southampton.
But figures seen by the Daily Echo show that means only 240 were completed in 2013-14, which in turn means the annual tally is still falling.
In 2012-13, 270 were completed in Southampton, itself less than the 310 built in 2011-12 and the 510 in the general election year.
In fact, 240 is the lowest annual total for more than a decade, stretching back to the 160 built in the city in 2001-02.
Ministers were sharply criticised for axing many housing programmes when they came to power, causing the number of completions to drop dramatically.
Meanwhile, local councils remain barred from borrowing money to build homes, as the Government relies on the private sector to step in.
The issue is rising up the political agenda in places such as Southampton, where there are 15,000 people on the housing waiting list.
Emma Reynolds, for Labour, said: “We have repeatedly called for action on housing supply, particularly on the need for more affordable homes, but this government has failed to act.
“Under David Cameron, the number of homes built has fallen to the lowest level in peacetime since the 1920s.”
But Kris Hopkins, the housing minister said: “Our affordable house-building efforts are a clear success story, with nearly 200,000 new affordable homes delivered since April 2010.
“It means families have new homes available to them, whether to rent at an affordable rate or to buy through our shared ownership schemes.”
Across England, 41,654 affordable homes were built last year – well down on the 53,172 in the year before the last general election.