HOUSING NEEDS SURVEY :
The results are now back and on initial reading there are no real surprises.
A low response rate (18% of households) may be down to “engagement fatigue”, lack of interest, lack of individual need or belief that we have already built/ accepted more than adequate amounts of housing – who knows? The JPC will be having a dialogue with the Rural Housing Enabler to try to tease out the information and to enable us to devise strategies for the future – more when we have had those discussions.
Meanwhile, some headline findings, in no particular order:-
Vast majority of respondents were aged 60+
Most were owner occupiers
Most lived in “conventional houses”, rather than flats, bungalows or “others”.
Most were very happy with the parishes generally
GP facilities, public transport and youth facilities were most in demand
Little demand for more “social rented accommodation”
Over one third of respondents supported more “first time buyer” homes
Clear demand for bungalows, over-55’s and supported accommodation
20% 0f respondents claimed to know someone who had had to leave the parishes due to local housing costs
Over 50% would support a modest development if there was demonstrated need.
Of those actually wanting a housing change:
15 partly completed the forms, but only 9 fully completed all the required parts.
45% wanted smaller homes and 27% wanted larger homes
3 bedroomed homes was the near universal requirement
Of the 9 completed forms, 4 wished to buy and 5 wanted “housing association rental or shared ownership”.
Much of the above appears to be in conflict with WDC Housing Register figures which suggest that there are currently 65 applicants, 41 of whom require single bed accommodation. Hence the JPC intention to get some advice and clarifications.
I have been asked to try and provide some clarification on the different categories of housing, although the definitions appear to vary according to exactly who one asks, where and when!
In simple terms:
Market Homes – available for sale to anyone
Affordable Homes – Usually built alongside Market Homes which are used to cross-subsidise them and hence reduce their prices, either for rental or shared ownership. WDC aims at a 40% provision on larger sites. Occasionally built alone by councils or Housing Associations, eg at Westham Lane, Barford. Some economic criteria applied to eligibility.
Shared Ownership – Part rental, part purchase Affordable Homes – the mix varies but the aim is to allow the tenant to build some equity in the property market. Some economic criteria applied to access.
Social Rented – Significantly subsidised rental homes with strict eligibility criteria administered by WDC
Please note that the above are not official definitions but my local take on the situation. If others have more information of have differing experiences then please let us know.
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