Delivery of Affordable Housing increased from previous year

Residents in South Somerset have benefitted from seeing an increase in the number of affordable homes built in the district last year and can look forward to more affordable homes being created in the future.

69 affordable homes were built in the last financial year across South Somerset, an increase of 10 from the previous year's figures.

Six different Housing Associations delivered nine housing schemes in South Somerset, with the two most significant schemes both being developed by Stonewater in Yeovil and delivered a total of nineteen properties at West Hendford and the new flats at Ben Jacobs Court.

Affordable Housing is designed to meet the needs of those whose financial circumstances means that they are unable to access open market housing, either to buy or rent.  As house prices and rents have risen faster that wages in recent years, the problem continues to grow Typically, the range of affordable housing products includes rented housing, shared ownership and discounted market homes.

57 of the 69 homes delivered have been developed in urban parts of South Somerset, whilst 12 were delivered in rural areas.

Councillor Ric Pallister, Leader of South Somerset District Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategy and Policy said, "Whilst this is a pleasing total, it is not enough to clear the backlog that has accrued in recent years.  We value the efforts of our Housing Association partners who are delivering for us in very challenging financial circumstances, but we need more, both in our towns and rural settlements.  I am delighted with the efforts of those partners are pro-actively seeking out opportunities to bring whole sites forward themselves, as relying on a realistic percentage share of affordable housing on new large scale developments is failing.  A secure roof over the head of a single individual or the heads of a whole family, is a fundamental right and need in a civilised society and the drive to secure more homes in the future cannot be relaxed for one moment."

Over the last several years, there has been a downward trend in the number of affordable homes delivered in South Somerset and the 2017/18 financial year has seen the first increase from the previous year since 2014/15.

It's expected that 66 affordable homes will be delivered across five housing schemes this financial year (2018/19) by four Housing Associations and two other organisations.

You can find out more information about the number of affordable homes delivered in South Somerset and the future delivery by reading the Affordable Housing Development Programme report that went to District Executive on Thursday 5 July.

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Above: A number of affordable homes were delivered at a Yarlington Housing Group development in South Cadbury in 2017