Hundreds of social homes have been lost in the Braintree district over the past decade, new figures show.

Some 94 social homes were built in Braintree in the ten years to March 2022 – including 17 in the latest year, figures from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show.

But 294 social homes were sold and 223 demolished over the same period – meaning the area has lost 423 homes over the past ten years.

The figures come as housing charity Shelter urges the Government to invest in a new generation of "genuinely social housing".

Across England, 194,000 social homes were sold in the decade to March 2022, and 55,000 demolished.

Just 84,000 were built over the same period – resulting in a net loss of 165,000 social homes.

The figures do not include sales for low-cost homeownership.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said the country is "firmly in the red" when it comes to its social housing stock.

“We lose far more homes than we build every year, and the losses are mounting up,” she said.

“The social housing deficit is at the heart of the housing emergency, “The fundamental lack of genuinely affordable homes has pushed millions of people into insecure, expensive and often discriminatory private renting.”

Figures show that as of March 2022, 1.2 million people were on local authority waiting lists for social housing across England – including 2,460 in Braintree.

A spokesman for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said: “Increasing the number of genuinely affordable homes is central to our levelling up mission.

“Since 2010 we have delivered over 620,000 affordable homes in England, including over 160,000 for social rent.

“But there is much more to do and that is why we’re investing £11.5billion to build more of the affordable, quality homes this country needs.”