Council exceeds affordable housing target - and commits to build more

Wiltshire Council has exceeded its target for the delivery of new affordable homes in the county for the year 2021/22, and it has plans to build more in the coming years.

Published 19 May 2022
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Wiltshire Council has exceeded its target for the delivery of new affordable homes in the county for the year 2021/22, and it has plans to build more in the coming years.

The council surpassed its target of 650 affordable housing completions in the last financial year by 6%, as a total of 688 new affordable homes were completed for occupation by local residents in housing need. The council also secured a further 667 future affordable homes through the completion of new legal section 106 agreements, which are linked to housing development planning permissions granted during the year. These homes will be built in the coming years, as developments are completed.

The target comes from the council's policy in the adopted Local Plan (Core Strategy), which sets out the delivery of 13,000 affordable homes over the plan period, from 2006 to 2026; this equates to a current target of 650 affordable homes per year.

The majority of the affordable homes are built on sites across Wiltshire by developers through planning obligations and transferred to registered providers of social housing or the council. Registered providers and the council's in-house development team also deliver affordable homes by securing land for exclusively affordable housing schemes, using their own resources and grant funding from Homes England. 

The target has been exceeded thanks to the close working of the council's Housing Enabling team with the Wiltshire Housing Development Partnership and other council officers to ensure that new affordable homes are built for the people of Wiltshire. The team ensures that new developments include the required number of affordable homes, built to meet identified needs and affordable housing standards.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: We know just how important affordable housing is to our communities, and that's why we're working hard to deliver - and exceed - the targets set out in our Core Strategy.

One of the key themes of our business plan is that residents have access to high quality affordable housing - and that's why we're investing in affordable homes and will continue to do so.

The total of 688 affordable homes secured in the last financial year is a mix of homes provided by developers, registered providers and the council. The total is made up of affordable rented homes, shared ownership properties, and in the future will include first homes, so we can help to provide suitable properties based on local needs.

However, we recognise that there is more to do to provide affordable homes for the people of Wiltshire, and that's why we're working to secure the affordable homes required through planning policies.

It will always be a challenge to provide enough affordable homes to meet demand, but as an authority we are helping to build as much new housing stock as we can by working with the Wiltshire Housing Development Partnership - and we'll continue to do so.

To find out more about affordable housing in Wiltshire, people should go to New housing developments- Wiltshire Council

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Published 19 May 2022