National Housing Federation warns budget plans could force housing cuts and 278,000 job losses

The National Housing Federation has warned that half a million planned affordable homes could be axed due to government spending cuts.

The NHF claimed that figures in the Pre-Budget Report imply that the housing budget will be cut by 18% over the next decade. Such a cut would reduce the number of affordable homes due to be built by 556,000. The federation further warned that such a drastic cut would also lead to the loss of 278,000 jobs and apprenticeships.

The proposed cut has prompted the federation to call for housing to be categorised as an "untouchable" expenditure, which would then be protected from cuts by all political parties.

In 2007 the government pledged to build three million homes by 2020, one million of which were due to be affordable. It is expected that 162,000 affordable homes will have been built by April 2011.