165,000 +  of the most affordable rented homes have been lost across England in just six years, according to new analysis from the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

CIHn is predicting that loss will reach 199,000 by 2020 – making it increasingly difficult for people on lower incomes to access a decent home at a price they can afford.

Funding for social rent, which tends to be around 30-40 per cent cheaper than market rent, was cut by the coalition government in 2010. Since then, funding has been targeted towards homes for ‘affordable rent’, which can be up to 80 per cent of market rents.

But CIH said its projection of future losses is lower than in previous years because the government has made several positive announcements in recent months, including more funding for housing associations, lifting the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap for local authorities and abandoning plans to force councils to sell their most valuable empty homes.

Figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Homes England show that 117,828 local authority homes and 47,869 housing association homes for social rent were lost between 2012 and 2018. Despite some continued new build for social rent, numbers have continued to fall – because of right to buy sales and properties being converted to ‘affordable rent’ or demolished.

Based on current trends, CIH is projecting that 199,000 homes for social rent will have been lost between 2012 and 2020 – 140,828 council homes and 57,869 housing association homes. Those figures include the loss of an estimated 3,000 homes due to the West Midlands pilot of the extension of right to buy to housing associations.