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Meeting Affordable Housing Needin the City & County of Swansea Stronger Safer Communities Scrutiny Board 24 th September 2012
Presentation ContentsThe presentation will cover:- LA Duties & Powers in relation to affordable housing Policies and Strategies used to address affordable housing so far Impact of policies so far Constraints on providing affordable housing Future Challenges New Council House Building New innovative solutions
Local Authority Duties To review housing needs and conditions (Housing Act 1985) To produce housing strategies to address housing issues in the area (Local Government Act 2003) Make appropriate provision for affordable housing in Development Plan policies. Identify requirements, viable targets and site thresholds and monitor provision (PPW 2011 and TAN 2 2006)
Local Authority Powers Section 106 Agreements Strategically direct RSL spend via SHG Compulsory Purchase Orders Disposal or leasing of land to RSLs for affordable housing construction Suspension of the Right to Buy Local Authority Mortgages Bring back Empty Properties e.g. via loans scheme, etc
Council Policies and Strategies to Deliver Affordable Housing Maximising SHG Allocation from WG Utilising Section 106 Agreements/ Percentage Affordable Housing dictated by the Housing Market Assessment Use of Commuted Sums UDP – Thresholds Empty Property Strategy
Impact of Current Policies so far Limited – due to recession and housing market downturn Adopted policy reflects latest national guidance SPG provides strong basis for negotiation No significant change to numbers delivered Very little success in rural areas
Constraints on Affordable Housing Supply Declining Social Housing Grant from Welsh Government Depressed housing market results in fewer Planning Applications / Section 106 Agreements /viability issues Complexity of planning application process Land acquisition – unrealistic expectations of landowners Access to finance
Future Challenges Welfare Reform Proposals Those over occupying a property will get less benefit Single room rent increased to people up to 35 The affect of Universal Credit Big reduction in benefit payments big increase in demand for 1 bedroom properties Viability of sites to deliver affordable housing
Building New Council Homes Legally this is allowed Conflict with using finances to achieve Welsh Housing Quality Standard RSLs could deliver more properties with same money than Council due to financial rules
Increasing Affordable Housing – Current Options Reducing SHG funding to RSLs for particular schemes Local Authority Mortgages Maximising affordable housing via Section 106 Agreements Leasing of Council land for affordable housing Promotion of Exceptions Policy in UDP Bringing back Empty properties into use Review thresholds through LDP/include site specific indicative targets Welsh Housing Partnership
Conclusions Difficult to increase affordable housing levels due to economic climate New initiatives being developed by the Welsh Government that could be utilised Housing Market Assessment will give more detail regarding the level of A.H. need