Joint Venture Could Secure More Affordable Houses

20 June 2019

Green Party councillors are urging local councils to work together to set fair contributions for affordable housing from developers wanting to build new homes.

Councillor Paul Neale said:

“When developers want to build more than 16 new houses for profit, a viability assessment is carried out by council planners to ascertain the number of affordable properties needed to be built or an amount of money given to the local council to help fund local affordable housing. In the case of Norwich City Council, this goal is 33%.

“The reality is a much lower level, resulting in the council’s own assessment of 38.3% affordable housing in Norwich being missed by a long chalk. Developers often claim that they can only afford to contribute lower amounts than they should and the result is that less affordable housing is built in Norfolk.

“At some councils, it appears to be the case that lower contributions are agreed before planning permission is awarded; other councils appear to be more likely to lower the contribution after permission has been granted. Either way, people who need homes are losing out.”

The suggestion being put forward by Green councillors is for councils in this area, such as Norwich City Council, South Norfolk Council and Broadland District Council to join together to create a body  which could carry out viability assessments in a fairer way, clubbing together limited resources to achieve more in-depth analysis of developers’ proposals. The outcome could be millions of pounds’ worth of extra affordable homes being built.

 

Notes:

Norwich City Council area

Strategic Housing Market Assessment - units

 

Future need (2015-36)

Market Rate

Affordable

Total

% Affordable

1 bedroom Flat

1049

2089

3138

66.57%

2+ bedrooms Flat

1159

1216

2375

51.20%

2 bedrooms House

1128

647

1775

36.45%

3 bedrooms House

4857

1459

6316

23.10%

4 bedrooms House

989

351

1340

26.19%

5+ bedrooms House

193

70

263

26.62%

TOTAL

9375

5832

15207

38.25%

 

Central Norfolk Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2017

[1]Figure 83 of 2017 SHMA, http://www.greaternorwichgrowth.org.uk/dmsdocument/2367  (page 101)






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