Here in Essex the need for affordable or subsidised housing is more important now than ever before. House prices have risen much higher than income levels resulting in a significant number of households being priced out of the market.
Historically, homes for social rent (with rents set at around 50% of market rents) and affordable home ownership have been the main source of new affordable housing. However, the introduction in 2011 of social sector development with rents of up to 80% of market rents coupled with a rapid rise in private rent and house prices; it’s been difficult to deliver truly affordable housing.
A key objective of the Housing Group is to build more affordable housing to generate a balance of tenures and affordability. This done through maximising the opportunities available from land, funding and securing the necessary planning and infrastructure to support development.
A number of authorities have or are in the process of setting up local housing companies to boost housing supply including Thurrock Regeneration Ltd and Sempra Homes in Basildon. Their ambitious plans include building high quality homes on brownfield or smaller garage sites with the focus on providing homes for local people and helping to build strong and healthy communities.
A number of local authorities have also benefited from the Housing Finance Institute’s Housing Ready programme including Thurrock, Southend, and Tendring and Chelmsford.
Housing Associations are leading suppliers of affordable housing – both rented and shared ownership. Housing is typically delivered through joint ventures with house builders and or local authorities using government grant funding, Section 106 or recycled funds.
They are often major partners in regeneration and estate renewal for example at Purfleet, Craylands, Harlow and Colchester. They are also providers of a wide range of vital welfare services to the most vulnerable including supported accommodation. Partner housing association include: CHP, Eastlight Community Homes, Clarion Housing Group, Estuary Housing Association, Legal & General Affordable Homes, Moat, Peabody Trust, RentPlus, Swan / Sanctuary Group (contact details can be found on the Members page).
Your local council for housing related advice and support such as what to do if you’re at risk of homelessness, applying for council housing and claiming Housing Benefit.
more to be added…
A useful House of Commons Library briefing paper considers how affordable housing is defined in England and looks at key trends in the affordability of different tenure types. It also examines the supply of affordable housing and the role of Housing Benefit in enabling households to access and retain affordable housing (see links below).
The Housing & Finance Institute was established in 2015 with the support of the UK Government, businesses and councils.
It has a single purpose: to boost the capacity and delivery of housing. It does this through bringing together foremost expertise in housing and finance from across the country.
Working with central and local government and building relationships between capable councils, businesses and investors who want to do more or work differently.
Further information can be found here: http://www.thehfi.com/home/home