What is affordable housing?
Planning Policy Statement No.3 – Housing defines affordable housing as:
‘Affordable housing includes social rented and intermediate housing (New Build Homebuy, Intermediate rent level), provided to specified 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’.
All Planning Policy Statements documents can be found by viewing the ‘communities’ web site which is linked to this page.
The chronic shortage of affordable housing is well documented. In 2008, Matthew Taylor MP produced the ‘Living Working Countryside’. A copy of which is attached to this page. This report found that the high cost of homes, coupled with low wages, particularly in rural areas, are creating affordability pressures that threaten the future of rural communities. The issues are noted in the National Housing Federation’s report titled ‘affordable housing keeps village alive’ which is attached to this page.
There is a proven need for a full range of affordable housing across the whole of Shropshire, and that without intervention, housing affordability issues pose a particularly serious threat to the wider social and economic sustainability of rural communities. In 2008 it was estimated that 1,585 affordable homes are required per annum in Shropshire, which partly comprises 939 newly forming households each year and 600 existing households estimated as falling into housing need.
Why is there an affordable housing need?
The destructive combination of high cost of houses and low wages is putting housing out of the reach of many, particularly in rural areas where there is the added pressure of people moving into the area (inward migration). The Office of National Statistics predicts the rural population increasing by 16% by 2028, but 9% in urban areas.