Shared ownership demand forecast to rise 150%

Research by Savills has forecast that the ending of Help To Buy by 2023 will lead to a 150% increase in demand for shared ownership properties. They calculate that shared ownership is a much more affordable product for households on below median incomes.

Their research estimates that an income of £48,600 is required to purchase a house priced at £230,000 on the open market. With Help To Buy the required income falls to £38,800. However, a 50% shared ownership purchase would only require an income of £27,600 and a 25% shared ownership purchase would require an even lower income of £21,600.

See for the full report.

Library of rural housing reports updated

There is a steady flow of reports, briefings and studies published on rural affordable housing. We maintain a list of some of those we think are most useful. Check out the useful reports section of our website to find a plentiful supply of reading in one place. (There is separate sub page on local level papers)

Revised NPPF published

The revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published in July 2018. Among the many changes are some significant implications for the delivery of rural affordable housing. Generally, the provision of rural housing is encouraged. However, the delivery of affordable housing in rural communities will remain challenging.

The NPPF has ‘enshrined’ earlier Written Ministerial Guidance which removed the requirement to provide affordable housing within schemes of 10 or less dwellings. A commuted sum can be required for schemes of 6-10 dwellings but only in designated rural areas (defined under s157 of the 1985 Housing Act). Unfortunately no rural communities in Cambridgeshire fall under this designation. This means that affordable housing will only be delivered where communities are subjected to larger development proposals (often speculative proposals against community wishes where the Local Plan has been deemed out of date) or on rural exception sites.

Fortunately, rural exception sites have been afforded some protection by the decision to scale back the proposal for Entry Level Exception Sites (ELES). These had threatened to undermine rural exception sites by generating higher land values through an element of market housing. The final decision to restrict ELES to affordable housing tenures only should mean that they cannot outbid rural exception schemes.

National RHE Network responds to government consultation on the use of receipts from Right to Buy sales

The government has consulted on the use of receipts from Right to Buy (RTB) sales. This is a key issue for Rural Housing Enablers (RHEs) because so much affordable housing stock has been lost in rural communities. Most of it is never replaced.

RHEs have made three key suggestions in their response. Firstly, RTB should be suspended. Failing this, protections should be put in place for rural communities similar to the protections afforded Housing Association properties through the Right To Acquire. Finally, if rural stock is to be sold the recycled funds should be targeted on replacing these homes in the communities where they are sold.

2018 Myth Buster Tour explodes some myths

Cambridgeshire ACRE ran their fourth Myth Buster Tour on 3 July 2018 to coincide with national Rural Housing Week. A fully booked 33 seat coach took a delegation of county, district and parish councillors on a trip round a selection of rural exception sites. The tour included completed schemes, schemes under construction and schemes about to get underway.

Feedback from the tour was excellent –  “Eye opening. Myths were busted!” according to one delegate. Plans are already underway for 2019. You can read the evaluation report here.