Concern as Oldham house building lags behind population growth

Oldham Labor Group have criticized the lack of new homes provided in Oldham as the borough’s population grows.

Analysis of data released by the Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities and the 2021 Census shows that Oldham is an area where new homes are lagging behind population growth.

While Oldham’s population grew by 7.6% in the decade from 2011, the number of houses only increased by 3.9% over the same period.

Oldham Council Leader Amanda Chadderton said: “Lack of housing supply can drive up prices and make it harder for people to buy their first home.

“This is just one of the underlying factors in Oldham’s housing crisis – increasing numbers of people are seeking help from the Council to find accommodation and too many people are having to live in temporary accommodation while waiting to find decent housing.

The number of empty homes, excluding second homes, is very low across England, averaging 1% and 1.1% in Oldham.

This figure is significantly lower than in other countries such as Germany, where 8.2% of homes are vacant, and Japan, where 13.6% of homes are vacant.

Cllr Chadderton said: “Oldham have an ambitious housing program which we are delivering with redevelopment of the town center and the whole borough, but we also need the help of Homes England to help us build enough houses at social rent to meet our housing need.

“The ongoing developments at Derker and Southlink are a good start, but much more is needed.”

However, the Department of Levelling, Housing and Communities rejected Oldham Labour’s approach.

A department spokesperson said: “Comparing population growth with new homes built does not take into account those who live together and a more meaningful analysis is comparing the number of households rather than population growth.

“We remain fully committed to our target of delivering 300,000 homes a year by 2030 and in the North West alone we have delivered over 60,000 new affordable homes since 2010.”

Cllr Chadderton added: “We have recently agreed a new selective licensing scheme for private landlords to help raise standards in the private rental sector.

“But I worry about the impact of rising rents and mortgages following rising interest rates on household budgets.”