What is affordable housing?
Affordable housing means that homes are available for less than the market price and can be offered by renting, part-ownership, buying or self-build. Generally 'affordable' means that:
- mortgage repayments are lower than 20% of the household disposable income; or
- rent is lower than 25% of the household disposable income.
Affordable housing requirements
Policy HOU3 of the Local Plan 2015 states that affordable housing will be sought on developments of more than 10 dwellings. In the North of the district it is expected that 30% of the total number of dwellings to be provided should be affordable housing, and in the south of the district the applicant is expected to provide 40%. Provision of affordable housing “should normally be on-site”, the policy explains.
However, the policy makes it clear that such % provision will be “subject of negotiation with applicants”, and that ‘off-site’ provision maybe acceptable in exceptional circumstances, though “applicants will be required to provide justification as part of the planning application setting out the need for off-site provision or financial contributions in lieu to be made.”
Affordable Housing Statements
Where a development meets the minimum thresholds for the provision of affordable housing, an affordable housing statement may be required to accompany your application. An affordable housing statement should include the following information:
- the number of residential units
- the mix of residential units including the number of habitable rooms/bedrooms and/or the floor space of habitable areas
- floor plans showing the location of residential units and the number of habitable rooms/bedrooms and/or the floor space of habitable areas
- the different levels or types of affordability or tenure for the different units (where applicable)
More information on affordable housing is available from the Council's Housing Team. You can find their contact details and more information on the Housing section of this website.