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Jack Dromey MP, Labour's Shadow Housing Minister, responding to housing figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government today, said:

"On housing, like the economy, this Government is showing it is utterly out of touch. Their policies are hurting but not working. House building is falling, which is yet more bad news for first time buyers struggling to find a home, the people on housing waiting lists and those paying rising rents in the private rented sector. The key contributor to the growing housing crisis is the lack of supply of new homes and, on every measure of housing supply, this out of touch Government is failing.

“Houses built in the last 3 months are 4 per cent down from June at 26,190. More worryingly, housing starts are also down 1 per cent on the last quarter and 51 per cent below those Labour built in the last quarter of 2005. This shows the housing crisis is set to get worse not better.

“In September last year, Grant Shapps said building more homes is the gold standard upon which the Government would be judged. Well, the judgement is in and the Government is failing. Annual housing starts were 96,070 over the past 12 months, down by 7 per cent compared with the previous 12 months.

"We need urgent action now to tackle the housing crisis. The Government should act, therefore, on Labour’s call to repeat the tax on bankers’ bonuses to kick-start an affordable housing programme which would get builders back into work, create apprenticeships for young people and deliver 25,000 new affordable homes."

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