Affordability - housing in crisis

PUBLISHED: 12:41 17 November 2006 | UPDATED: 22:22 28 May 2010

Riverside Close at March, evidence of the Housing Corporation’s funding for the area’s housing needs

Riverside Close at March, evidence of the Housing Corporation's funding for the area's housing needs

NEW figures show that Fenland Council is only skimming the surface of providing cheap housing. In the five years to 2006, less than 10 per cent of all homes built in the district were classified as affordable . The statistics are revealed in the Local D

NEW figures show that Fenland Council is only skimming the surface of providing cheap housing.

In the five years to 2006, less than 10 per cent of all homes built in the district were classified as 'affordable'.

The statistics are revealed in the Local Development Framework policy document on housing due to be debated by the cabinet yesterday.

It shows for the first time the extent of the crisis facing councillors as they find ways of tackling the acute problem of affordable housing.

The rapport shows that over the five-year period only 305 of the 3,343 homes built in Fenland were classed as affordable. And had it not been for a housing needs assessment carried out in 2003, the crisis could have been worse.

As a result of the study the level of affordable homes built in 2001 and 2002, 36 and 35 respectively, rose to 82, 77 and 75 in the following three years.

"There is a need to increase the delivery of affordable housing from its historic level to one that meets today's needs," says the report.

It will mean no lessening in the council's commitment to ensure a third of all new developments of 10 homes or more in the market towns are classified as affordable.

And in villages the threshold will drop so that a developer wishing to build as few as three homes, will have to ensure that at least one is affordable.

In some villages the restrictions will be even more severe since it is possible land will be allocated in Gorefield, Guyhirn and Parson Drove where all the homes will need to be 'affordable'.

Land owners or members of the public are being invited to identify sites which might be suitable for affordable housing.

The report says the Housing Corporation has recognised the pressing need for affordable housing in Fenland by the level of grant funding.

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