Affordable housing can be described in many different ways:
- social rent
- affordable rent
- intermediate housing
- affordable home ownership
Affordable housing is only provided to 'eligible households' defined as 'those whose needs are not met by the market'. Eligibility is determined by local incomes and local house prices.
Affordable housing usually contains restrictions to remain as affordable housing for future generations or, in the case of affordable home ownership, the subsidy to be recycled to provide alternative affordable housing in the Borough.
The Own Your Home website contains further helpful information.
How affordable is housing in Great Yarmouth?
Although Great Yarmouth has lower house prices and lower rents than some of our neighbouring authorities, low incomes mean that properties in Great Yarmouth remain unaffordable for some.
When calculating whether a property is affordable, a house price should be 3 to 3.5 times income, however in Great Yarmouth the lower quartile house price to earning ratio is 9:1.
Local Housing Allowance rates are paid for those in receipt of Housing Benefit and Universal Credit, however this does not always cover the rates in the private rental market in which case a 'top up' would be paid by the tenant.
The demand for affordable housing in Great Yarmouth, as with the rest of the country, is ever increasing. There are currently over 1,000 active applications for the Council's allocation pool and 150 applications for affordable home ownership products.
How is affordable housing developed?
To ensure a continued provision of affordable homes, the Council's Local Plan requires developers to provide a percentage of the homes on their sites as affordable homes.
Developments of 10 or more homes outside the Town Centre are required to provide between 10% and 20% as affordable homes, dependant on the area. Developments of 15 or more homes in the Town Centre are required to provide 10% as affordable homes.
The Council is developing its own properties through its development arm, Equinox Enterprises Ltd.
Registered providers can provide sites of up to 100% affordable housing due to their own funding and grant available from Homes England.
Community led housing projects throughout the borough will also provide low cost housing for local communities.
The Council is actively purchasing properties to meet specific needs. Work with empty properties will see an increase in homes brought back into use, to help address the general need for housing in the borough.
What are the different types of affordable housing?
In the table below are descriptions of the different types or tenures under the affordable housing definition.
|Type or tenure||Description|
These properties are provided by local authorities and some registered providers. The rent for these properties will be set at a level dictated by the national rent regime. Social rented properties are the most affordable being approximately 55% of private rents.
These properties are let in line with the allocations policy.
These properties are provided by local authorities and registered providers and are subject to a control that requires the level to be no more than 80% of local market rent.
Affordable rent properties are let in the same way as social rented properties but can also be provided by Community Led Housing organisations.
Build to Rent and Rent to Buy
These properties are usually built as blocks of flats. The property is rented for a set period during which time the tenant saves enough for a deposit to purchase the property at the end of the rental term.
Affordable home ownership
This is a term covering different affordable purchase products, it is also sometimes referred to as low cost home ownership and can be included under an intermediate housing definition.
Previously known as 'part buy, part rent', households buy a share of the property and the remaining share is rented. In time, future shares can be purchased and the property could be brought outright, however this option is restricted if the property is on an exception site (outside the parish boundary) to ensure it is kept affordable in perpetuity.
The applicant purchases a share in the property and no rent is paid on the remaining share, but the purchaser is able to buy further shares in the property until it is owned outright.
Further definitions can be found on GOV.UK.
Who provides affordable housing?
Great Yarmouth Borough Council is a stock holding authority owning and managing 5,776 properties with an additional 375 leasehold properties.
There are 12 registered providers with stock in the Great Yarmouth Borough with over 1,900 properties provided either as supported, rented or affordable home ownership:
- Hanover Housing Association
- Herring House Trust
- Places for People
- Orbit Housing Association
- Saffron Housing Association
- Broadland Housing Association
- Housing 21
- Orwell Housing Association
- Notting Hill Genesis Housing Association
- V&F Homes
- Clarion Housing Group
- Flagship Housing Association