Futures Forum: Council-owned land for social housing
The question is to what degree the Neighbourhood Planning process can encourage this to happen.
Government advice restricts itself to the Community Right to Build Order, which gives tenants the right to acquire social housing:
Neighbourhood planning - GOV.UK
There is a little confusion over what to call this: Aylesbury Vale does not distinguish between 'social' and 'affordable', interchanging terminology rather freely:
Housing Service – Neighbourhood Plan Guidance on Affordable Housing - September 2014
Whilst Chapel-en-le-Frith refers only to 'social housing' - that is the allocation of already-existing council housing:
Affordable homes here means ‘social housing’ – homes which are made available to local people who have an identified need for housing but who cannot afford to buy or rent a home at market rates.
Local Authorities allocate social housing to local people who have a proven housing need and are on the Council Waiting List. These mainly comprise homes to rent, but there are other options such as shared ownership and other tenures.
Chapel Parish Neighbourhood Plan | Housing
Other Neighbourhood Plans are being much more proactive.
In July, Bridport published its draft NP:
BRIDPORT AREA NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
Objective – Housing:
To provide housing that the community needs, of high quality, accessible to services and affordable, in appropriate locations:
The Housing Needs Assessment primarily assesses housing need for households lacking their own housing or living in housing which is inadequate or unsuitable, who are unlikely to be able to meet their needs without some assistance. It does not address housing demand, which is market driven and largely taken up by wealthy incomers...
The Local Plan makes no commitment to building ‘social rented’ housing (as part of the Affordable Housing quota) needed to help those people on the Housing Register. The demand for Social Housing at the start of 2016 already exceeded the planned development of Social Housing over the Neighbourhood Plan planning period...
POLICY H01: HOUSING AFFORDABILITY
Until such time that the need for social-rented affordable housing has been reduced to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable, the proportion of “Affordable-Rented Housing” defined in the Local Plan shall consist of at least 50% Social Rented housing.
BRIDPORT AREA NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN - DRAFT INTENTIONS DOCUMENT – July 2017
In Norfolk, Blofield Parish NP refers to social housing:
Blofield Parish Neighbourhood Plan:
HOU1: Local housing needs
New housing development should include properties that will address the specific needs of the population of the parish, which include:
> Social housing as part of mixed developments.
Blofield Parish NP
And on the English Riviera, social housing provision is being taken seriously:
The Torquay Neighbourhood Plan
Over the Plan period the target shall be to provide not less than 20% new affordable and social homes in any rolling 5 year period, equating to approximately 850 homes overall by a combination of public sector investment and private sector planning obligations.
We recommend that the disposal of suitable Council owned land should be to Housing Associations and self-building schemes as part of an appropriate commercial arrangement, to ensure the level of provision of affordable and social housing is not less than 20% of total homes built during any rolling 5 year period. To enable this we accept that some open market housing may be required on those sites for viability purposes.
To start to address the identified need in Torbay, affordable homes must be built for the benefit of the current residents of Torbay.
The Torquay Neighbourhood Plan
Meanwhile in East Devon, Uplyme NP people have been talking to Housing Associations to make this possible:
Uplyme Neighbourhood Plan
Policy HG4 – Exception housing sites
The following sites are proposed as exception housing sites, as defined on the Proposals Map, to be developed by social housing providers/housing associations for at least 70% affordable housing with up to a 30% element of market housing.