This BBC News article brings acutely into focus the desperate shortage of affordable housing in England. In particular affordable rented properties.
With a substantial annual shortfall in building affordable properties generally, be they for rent, shared ownership or discounted sale , the problem is serious. As the article points out , the National Housing Federation, the body that represents the majority of registered providers of affordable housing, estimates that 90,000 social rent homes are needed to be built each year for the next ten years to meet the demand but since 2010-11 the numbers being built have significantly reduced from a high of 40,000 pa to under 6,500 in 2018-2019.
In the South West it is a particular problem because the affordability of houses are so high. In fact only the South East has a higher median income to average house price ratio with the South West’s averaging from over 10 x the local median salary up to approx. 15 depending on location.
This is not to ignore the considerable achievements registered providers make and are continuing to make by providing valuable affordable housing and by supporting communities.
It needs to be recognised however that with the latest proposals from the government to increase the threshold for which affordable housing must be provided under s. 106 agreements, which currently provides almost half of all affordable housing, as well as a new proposal for discounted sales by commercial developers, that the numbers of affordable homes and particularly rental homes, will be even more challenging to achieve.
Tozers’ social housing team are fortunate enough to work with some of the most forward thinking and innovative registered providers in the South West who use their considerable skills to continue to develop at an impressive rate despite the challenges they face. We are proud to associate ourselves with the sector and regularly see first hand how their schemes and organisations support local communities from employing local trades and services to helping support families in need.
If you are already a registered provider or interested in developing affordable housing and looking for advice, please don’t hesitate to contact :-
Stephen Burtchaell Head of Social Housing