Affordable Housing Development
This section will explore how affordable housing is delivered in the district and what future plans there are to deliver more affordable homes.
For many years, house prices and rents in the UK have grown faster than average incomes. This has led to an increasing need for affordable housing as more people struggle to afford to purchase or rent a home.
Average house prices have risen 8% over the last year, with an average of £185,835 in December 2017. This follows a similar trend for the 12 months previous, and is increasing 2% faster than the county
The demand for affordable homes, either for rent or to buy, is high across the district. The Council works with developers and Housing Associations (also known as Registered Providers) to try and increase the provision of affordable housing across the district to meet local needs. The Council has also developed a number of affordable schemes and has ambitions to build lots more.
What is Affordable Housing?
The national definition of affordable housing is set out in the National Planning Policy Framework:
Affordable housing includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Affordable housing should:
- Meet the needs of eligible households including availability at a cost low enough for them to afford, determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices
Include provision for the home to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or, if these restrictions are lifted, for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.
The two types of affordable housing predominantly developed in the area are:
Affordable Rent - rents are set at 80% of the market rent for a similar property in the area
Intermediate housing - this covers shared ownership, HomeBuy, shared equity and other models designed to help people purchase or part-purchase a home where they would not otherwise be able to get onto the property ladder.
Historically social rented properties have been developed in the district. These are where rents are set in accordance with a national formula, and are well below market levels in most areas. It is unlikely that any more properties of this kind will be developed in the area.
Policy Requirements for Affordable Housing
Using current planning policy the Council requires one third (33.3%) of all development of more than 10 units or a maximum combined gross floor space of no more than 1000sqm in size to be affordable homes. This requirement is currently being tested as part of the emerging Local Plan and a new affordable housing percentage may be set dependant on the results of a viability study.
Any developers proposing to deliver less than one third affordable housing must provide clear and robust evidence demonstrating the reasons for this. The Council will test this evidence and all costs incurred will be recharged to the developer.
Early dialogue with the Council's Strategic Housing Team is recommended for all schemes with an element of affordable housing. They can be contacted on 01775 764 630.
How are Affordable Homes provided?
There are currently 13 Registered Providers with stock across the district. There are also a number of private landlords and developers who own and manage affordable homes. The Council prefers affordable homes to be delivered through Registered Providers and early dialogue should be explored with them when plans are being developed. Registered Providers who may be interested in purchasing affordable homes from local developers include:
Tel: 01274 065409
Tel: 0800 111 4013
Lincolnshire Housing Partnership
Tel: 0345 604 1472
Cross Keys Homes
Tel: 01733 385000
Tel: 01799 532 130
Lincolnshire Rural Housing Association
Tel: 01790 754219
Waterloo Housing Group
Tel: 0800 435 016
If you would like to deliver affordable homes or discuss this in more detail please contact Strategic Housing on 01775 764630.