Housing Policies and Performance
Making more affordable homes available
We know the District has one of the lowest proportions of affordable housing in Essex (2,942 as at November 2011).
The Council wants to increase the number of affordable homes and has made this a corporate priority. Our aim is to provide as many local families as possible with a home that is affordable and suited to their needs.
What are affordable homes?
Affordable homes are built for people who are unable to afford to rent or buy property available on the open market. These can include properties for social rent, intermediate rent or for shared ownership or other part buy/part rent schemes. For more information see the Affordable Housing - Facts, Figures and Myths Guide.
Developing new homes
We work closely with Moat, Colne Housing Society, Hastoe, Estuary, Salvation Army Housing Association, Chelmer Housing Partnership and private developers and the Homes & Communities Agency to develop affordable housing and sustainable communities throughout the District.
New affordable homes are achieved:
- from new housing development
- negotiating a percentage of affordable housing on large private development sites
- by regenerating existing buildings
- by the purchase of properties for sale on the open market
New homes in rural areas
To increase the provision of affordable homes in rural areas, the Council works with the Rural Community Council for Essex, housing associations and local parish councils.
Achieving new affordable rural homes
- Allocated or windfall sites - sites that go through normal planning policy and procedure
- Rural exception sites - consist of 100% affordable housing. They are an exception to normal planning policy and may consist of between 4 and 12 properties. They can only be developed on sites outside but adjacent to the village boundary where planning permission to develop open market housing would not be granted. The rented units would remain in the social housing stock forever and shared ownership properties could only be purchased to a maximum of 80% of the property value
Exception sites can only be developed if there is a proven need for affordable housing in the parish. This is usually determined through a parish housing needs survey. Occupants of these dwellings must have a local connection to the parish which would normally be through current residency, previous residency, work or family connections.
Council targets for new affordable housing
2009/10 target 32 new homes - achieved 30 new homes
2010/11 target 32 new homes - achieved 16 new homes
2011/12 target 32 new homes - achieved 38 new homes
If you require any further help or advice, please contact us.