Affordable housing needs look to soar
OFFICIALS are expecting affordable housing need to soar following a sharp rise in house prices over the last two years.A Mid Suffolk housing needs survey in 2000 identified a need for about 240 affordable houses a year.
OFFICIALS are expecting affordable housing need to soar following a sharp rise in house prices over the last two years.
A Mid Suffolk housing needs survey in 2000 identified a need for about 240 affordable houses a year.
However, Greg Dodds, the council's housing enabling officer, believes this number will have rocketed since then.
"We're expecting the housing need to be much more severe," he said.
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"As well as the sharp increase in house prices since 2000, we are losing council stock at a rate of 70 a year through the Right to Buy scheme.
"The average first time buyer house in the area is between £90 - 100K, whereas the average income is around £19K so local people are being priced out of the market.
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"This is causing significant social and economic problems.
"Rural areas are becoming more exclusive, local first-fime buyers are being forced out of the area and ultimately local services can decline."
"What we need to ensure is that there is an adequate supply of housing provision for our residents to rent or buy, depending on their financial means."
Mid Suffolk Council officers are conducting a study from April 21 to assess the situation.
A confidential postal questionnaire is being sent to 8,200 randomly selected households.
Householders are urged to return completed forms so the council has accurate, reliable and up-to-date information so future policy can address the district's most pressing housing needs.
"The survey is not only intended to help those families on the council's waiting list, but would help other groups including young families wanting to set up their own home," said Mr Dodds.
"The results will also help the council agree a higher percentage of affordable to be provided by housing developers on large residential applications, indicate priority areas for the upcoming programme of land disposal to Housing Associations and inform the Local Plan as to how
much land is allocated and where."
The results of the survey will be posted on the council's website at www.midsuffolk.gov.uk in August.