#SocialHousing in #Exeter

Earlier today, Exeter City Council opened 6 more eco-friendly homes built to Passivhaus standards. Each is a 3 bedroom house, and one is fully wheelchair accessible.

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                           Cllr Lesley Robson opens 6 PassivHaus properties in Reed Walk

These properties at Reed Walk, Newport Road will join those opened early in the summer – 8 at Silverberry Close off Brookway in Whipton  and 6 at Barberry Close off  Bennett Square in Mincinglake –  are part of a wider project  designed to make the most of underused sites in Exeter.

Previously, ECC PassivHaus projects have been Rowan House at Sivell Place in Heavitree [completed 2010] and Knights Place off Merlin Crescent in Beacon Health [completed 2011].

That’s Council Own Build [COB Wave 2] complete – and we’re looking ahead to COB Waves 3 and 4.

I’ve been asked how, with severe Central Government cuts to local authority funding, Exeter City Council can build their own council houses.

As well as the General Fund (council tax, central government revenue grant, income from  ECC car parks, rents from property owned by ECC. etc], Exeter City Council have a ring-fenced Housing Revenue Account [commonly referred to as the HRA].

All the rents from ECC’s 5000-plus social housing stock are paid into the HRA and this account is used to maintain and improve those properties – emergency repairs, planned maintenance, refurbishing kitchens and bathrooms and other such improvements.

Contrary to public opinion, the HRA ISN’T subsidised, it makes a profit – and that profit is being re-invested in a programme of Council Own Build Passivhaus properties for social rent.

In addition, Exeter City Council secures new affordable housing on many new developments across the city. These are built by larger housing developers and affordable housing is a requirement of the planning permission. These homes are then sold to the City Council or housing associations. In addition there are also some 100% affordable housing schemes.

Exeter City Council’s  Local Plan requires 35% affordable homes and 5% new build wheelchair accessible homes to be built on all sites which are capable of providing 10 homes or more [initially this was 3 homes or more, but the rules were changed in December 2014].

More on this can be found in ECC’s  Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) on Affordable Housing adopted in April 2014.

The SPD provides more detailed guidance on how policy CP7 of the Core Strategy will be implemented, in order to deliver affordable homes and to help promote mixed and sustainable communities.

The SPD is a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. Its contents will need to be taken into consideration from the earliest stages of the development process, including in the purchase of sites and the negotiation and preparation of residential schemes.

More information on  ECC’s Section 106 Agreements and the standard templates can be found at the Planning obligations (section 106 agreements) pages.

New rented homes are allocated through Devon Home Choice to households on the housing register. To apply for housing with the scheme, read the allocations and assessment policy or view available properties please visit the Devon Home Choice website.

New shared ownership homes are sold to households on the Help to Buy South West Register. Shared ownership properties are often advertised several months before the completion of the units. All shared ownership properties that are currently available and being marketed are advertised on the Help to Buy website.

Affordable Housing delivered 2009 – 2015

In 2009/10, ECC delivered 116 affordable homes:
– 94 for social rent, of which 3 are fully wheelchair accessible;
– 10 for intermediate rent;
– 6 for shared ownership; and
– 6 other

In 2010/11, ECC delivered 108 affordable homes:
– 81 for social rent, of which 3 are fully wheelchair accessible;
– 22for shared ownership; and
– 6 other

In 2011/11, ECC delivered 170 affordable homes:
– 17 for social rent, of which 8 are fully wheelchair accessible;
– 10 for intermediate rent;
– 4 for affordable rent; and
– 6 for shared ownership

In 2012/13, ECC delivered 26 affordable homes:
– 17 for social rent, of which 5 are fully wheelchair accessible; and
– 9 for affordable rent;

In 2013/14, ECC delivered 100 affordable homes:
– 53 for social rent, of which 1 is fully wheelchair accessible;
– 24 for affordable rent; and
– 23 for shared ownership

In 2014/15, ECC delivered 80 affordable homes:
– 46 for social rent, of which 1 is fully wheelchair accessible:
– 12 for affordable rent;
– 16 for shared ownership; and
– 6 other

Already completed this year 2015/16

Holland Park [Newcourt] developed by Heritage Homes, in partnership with Devon & Cornwall Housing, ECC have delivered:
– 5 homes let at social rent levels

City Glades [St Loyes] developed by Linden Homes, ECC have delivered:
– a commuted sum payment in lieu of affordable housing on-site, to go towards the provision of affordable housing elsewhere in the city.

Earls Park [Earl Richard Road] in partnership with David Wilson Homes, ECC have delivered:
– 1 fully wheelchair  accessible home let at social rent levels; and
– 2 shared ownership homes

Dean Clark House [Southernhay], ECC have delivered:
– 4 fully wheelchair  accessible home let at social rent levels

In the pipeline

Affordable homes currently being build in the city

Rougemont Park, Hill Barton Road [Monkerton] developed by David Wilson Homes in partnership with Sovereign Housing Association, ECC have negotiated:
– 28 homes to be let at social rent levels; and
– 5 shared ownership homes

Dukeminster [Newcourt]/Lowers RNSD Greenacres developed by Persimmon in partnership with Devon & Cornwall Housing [DCH] , ECC have negotiated:
– 62 homes to be let at social rent levels, of which 5 will be fully wheelchair accessible; and
– 27 shared ownership homes

Younghayes [Cranbrook Phase 1] developed by Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon and Bovis in partnership with Sovereign HA and DCH, ECC have negotiated:
– 114 homes to be let at social rent levels

The Harringtons, Harrington Lane [Ibstock Brickworks, Pinhoe] developed by Redrow Homes in partnership with Aster Housing Association, ECC have negotiated:
– 41 homes to be let at social rent levels, of which 3 will be fully wheelchair accessible; and
– 18 shared ownership homes

Rydon Place, Old Rydon Lane [Newcourt] developed by Barratt Homes in partnership with Aster HA, ECC have negotiated:
– 41 homes to be let at social rent levels; and
– 17 shared ownership homes
In addition, 4 homes will be transferred to YMVA Exeter to be used as supported accommodation

Holland Park , Hill Barton Road[Monkerton] developed by Heritage Homes, ECC have negotiated:
– 9 homes to be let at social rent levels
– 3 shared ownership properties; and
– 2 shared equity homes

Bishops Court Sand Quarry, Sidmouth Road developed by Redrow Homes in partnership with Aster HA, ECC have negotiated:
– 33 homes to be let at social rent levels, of which 3 will be fully wheelchair accessible; and
– 14 shared ownership homes

Millbrook Village [St Loyes] developed by  Urban Renaissance Villages Homes, ECC have negotiated:
– a commuted sum payment in lieu of affordable housing on-site, to go towards the provision of affordable housing elsewhere in the city.

FULL Planning Permission granted but work not yet underway
Full planning permission has been granted on several developments, and ECC has negotiated 269 affordable homes:
– 180 for social rent, of which 15 are fully wheelchair accessible;
– 35 for affordable rent; and
– 54 for shared ownership

Outline Planning approved, yet to submit Reserved Matters
Outline Planning has been approved on several developments, and ECC has negotiated 917 affordable homes:
– 658 for social rent, of which 55 will be fully wheelchair accessible;
– 5 for affordable rent;
– 253 for shared ownership;  and
– 1 other

At Pre-application stage / yet to submit application
Several developments are at the  pre-application stage or have yet to submit application, but outline negotiations indicate that ECC can expect  353 affordable homes:
– 238 for social rent, of which  20 will be fully wheelchair accessible;
– 22 for affordable rent; and
– 93 for shared ownership

Not yet at the Pre-application stage
Several developments are not yet at the  pre-application stage, but outline negotiations indicate that ECC can expect  455 affordable homes:
– 300 for social rent, of which  28 will be fully wheelchair accessible; and
– 127 for shared ownership

Developments stalled due to lack of funding
Some developments stalled due to lack of funding, which is a shame because outline negotiations indicated that ECC could have expected  455 affordable homes:
– 17 for social rent, of which  2 would have been fully wheelchair accessible

FURTHER READING:
Some definitions from National Planning Policy Framework [NPPF]

Affordable housing: Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market.

Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices.

Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.

Social rented housing is owned by local authorities and private registered providers (as defined in section 80 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008), for which guideline target rents are determined through the national rent regime. It may also be owned by other persons and provided under equivalent rental arrangements to the above, as agreed with the local authority or with the Homes and Communities Agency.

Affordable rented housing is let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing.

Affordable Rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80% of the local market rent (including service charges, where applicable).

Intermediate housing is homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above social rent, but below market levels subject to the criteria in the Affordable Housing definition above.

These can include shared equity (shared ownership and equity loans), other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent, but not affordable rented housing.

Homes that do not meet the above definition of affordable housing, such as “low cost market” housing, may not be considered as affordable housing for planning purposes.

Homes that do not meet the above definition of affordable housing, such as ‘low cost market’ housing, may not be considered as affordable housing for planning purposes.

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