It’s something I’ve had many conversations about and I’m sure other Councillors have also had thoughts about but I’ve never really got a clear answer. What is the definition of ‘affordable’ when it comes down to new housing developments. I found this definition on the Government’s website

Affordable housing is social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. From April 2012 affordable housing is defined in the National Planning Policy Framework (prior to this the definitions in Planning Policy Statement 3 apply). Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.

So that clears that up.

The short answer is if you want to know how affordable housing is defined, don’t ask me! I’m going to admit I’m beat on this one, but I will ask about and see if someone can give me a clear explanation on it. Watch this space!

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About the author 

James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

  • Affordable housing is housing that is provided for people who cannot afford to rent privately or buy privately and councils, or rather these days, Housing Associations, have criteria for whom they will consider for affordable housing. These homes are built from grants from the Government. Grants are also given to private house builders who build a percentage of homes for private sale and for sale/rent as affordable homes. If, however, you search for this type of housing under the various Housing Associations that operate in this area, you will see availability is very small. This situation will only become worse once the Government proposal to allow affordable homes to be purchased by their tenants after a three year occupancy period, is made law. It will mirror the shortage of available council houses.

    • Hey Sharon,
      Thanks for commenting. It’s a question I often get asked by those struggling to get on the property ladder. What’s your industry experience or are you a concerned parent wondering what the future holds for our children? Be good to hear your thoughts.



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