Affordable housing; Where to build; Where not to build?

Please fill in our questionnaire about Affordable Housing in Bradford  Abbas.

Why Affordable Housing?

As a community, we would like to influence the way in which the village evolves rather than delegating this in the ad hoc manner determined solely by market forces.

Today it can be very difficult for people with a close association with Bradford Abbas - who may have grown up here - to afford to live here and so we risk losing the continuity of the evolution of the village.

It is the wish of both government and the local community that there should be affordable accommodation to rent or buy.

What is Affordable Housing

The next few paragraphs are taken from the Glossary of the National Planning Policy Framework document: of 2012 - with a surprisingly readable forward by, the then, Minister for Planning Greg Clark

Affordable Housing: 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. Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative housing provision.

Social rented housing is owned by local authorities and private registered providers (as defined in section 80 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008).

Affordable rented housing is let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80% of the local market rent.

Intermediate housing is homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above social rent, but below market levels. These can include shared equity (shared ownership and equity loans), other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent, but not affordable rented housing.

There is also a surprisingly readable article on the House of Commons Library website.

The Right to Buy

In many ways, the aspiration of the government to allow people the right to buy their housing association property clashes with the aspiration of people in Bradford Abbas to  maintain a supply of affordable housing over time. If affordable houses are made unavailable to new residents because their existing residents purchase them then the stock of affordable housing in the village is diminished. And, of course, people should be able to buy.

The Parish Council met with Sir Oliver Letwin, one of the architects of the Right to Buy initiative, who gave us very clear assurance that affordable housing properties in smaller communities like ours (of less than 3,000 souls) would be exempt from having to release their affordable housing stock  to the market and that people wishing to buy would be offered alternative property, in another location, by the housing association.

Where we are with Affordable Housing

The Parish Council  has had several delays in its attempts to make progress with this project.

We have recently had several discussions and presentations at Parish Council Ordinary Meetings with Hastoes  who are  a leading provider of such schemes and who  have completed several in the area including Pettits Close in Bradford Abbas. We have been to visit recently-opened Hastoes' projects in Yetminster and Puddletown.

The Parish Council would now like to press forward with this but before we enter into discussions again with local landowners and Hastoes  we would value the opinion of village residents.

In particular, we need strong support from the community in order to persuade local landowners that there is a real need for Affordable Housing.

Potential sites for building

  • North of Pettits Close and / or Queens Road
  • A N Other? We are currently canvassing residents of Bradford Abbas for suggestions

Sites not for building

  • Allotments
  • The field opposite The Rose and Crown 

How to apply

Applications for Affordable Housing are done through the local authority's housing register. Or contact the Parish Council if you need further information.

Who decides?

The following section is copied from the Am I eligible page on Hastoe's website. It gives you a general idea of who,  typically, is eligible for Affordable Housing and how the Parish Council is  involved in the allocating  of housing stock.

Who gets priority?

Priority Categories

A - Currently renting from the local authority or a housing association.
B – Currently living with relatives / renting  privately / working  in the area.
C – Currently living outside the area.

Candidates must fall within one of the following criteria :

  • First time buyers.
Those who jointly owned a home but the relationship has broken down and cannot afford to buy on the open market.
  • Existing shared owners who have outgrown their home but cannot afford to buy outright / rent on the open market.

The size and type of home we will offer is based on three main factors:

  • Affordability.
Household size.

  • Your preference.

As a guide, we [Hastoes] will generally offer:

Single applicants - one bed.
Joint applicants - one or two beds.

Couples/single parent families with one child - two beds.
Couples/single parent families with two children - three beds.

Rural priority 

As many of our shared ownership properties are in rural areas, it is also likely that you will need to prove a local connection to the parish in which the homes are built, or the surrounding areas.

Generally, a local connection means you are:

  • Currently resident in the parish.
  • A previous resident in the parish but were forced to move away because of a lack of affordable housing in the area.
  • Have close family who live in the parish.

  • Have permanent and full time employment in the parish.

These rural priorities are applied before the priority categories. We will ask the Parish Council to verify the local connection information provided.