Leading housing groups warned that around 600,000 planned affordable home will not be built on time, if housing budgets are cut by 25% as suggested.
This would mean the Government’s targets to build 1 million affordable homes by 2010 is missed by 20 years.
The knock on of this would be that 287,000 jobs in construction and related fields could be lost or not created.
The National Housing Federation and the Home Builders Federation said the affordable housing crisis in England could ‘plunge to new depths’ and create an unprecedented shortage of homes.
The trade bodies for housing associations and private developers in England have called on all political parties to view housing as an “untouchable” in the same way as education and health.
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “Unless all three main parties commit to protecting the housing budget after the election, we could see affordable house building falling off a cliff.
“It is imperative that public spending to support affordable house building is maintained post election, if the crisis is not to plunge to new depths.”
Orr added: “As bad housing is closely linked to poor health and poor educational attainment, a failure to protect the housing budget from the post-election spending cuts could lead to many people suffering from a triple whammy effect.”
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builder Federation, echoed these fears. He said: “We already have a chronic shortage of housing in this country that is having significant social and economic implications.
Both trade bodies are calling for more land to be available for housing and a planning system that delivers the required amount of land in places where there is demand in a realistic time frame.