Helping make homes affordable

A lot is mentioned about the role of affordable housing in new housing developments. It is a term used to describe ways in which housing can be made more affordable than the standard cost of buying or renting a home.

The official definition from the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework, which sets the rules for planning in England is: “Housing for sale or rent, for those whose needs are not met by the market (including housing that provides a subsidised route to home ownership and/or is for essential local workers)."

New developments in this area are struggling to deliver affordable homes.

Illustration of a park

At Beeches Park, 40% of the homes will be more affordable to buy or rent than the local market rate.

To achieve this, homes will be made available in a number of ways, including:

  • First Homes – a new Government initiative aimed at eligible first-time buyers looking to start on the ladder. First Homes are discounted by at least 30% against the market value. This limits the First Homes available to a maximum cost of £250,000*. First Homes can also be prioritised for key workers needed in the community (for example NHS staff, teachers, childcare workers and those in the police, fire service and military).
  • Affordable rent – where homes are available at a discounted rate on the local market.
  • Rent to Buy - a government scheme designed to ease the transition from renting to buying a home by providing subsidised rent. A newly built home can be rented at approximately 20% below the market rate for up to five years. During that time there is an option to buy the property or to buy part of the property under a Shared Ownership scheme.
  • Shared Ownership - including for people with long term disabilities and the elderly.

* Correct at time of publication

Lifetime Homes Standard

There will also be a range of Lifetime Homes in the development. These are homes which are specifically designed for the needs of the elderly and disabled, and can adapt as people’s needs change. By designing homes to be thoughtful, adaptable and accessible, including for people with temporary or permanent physical impairment, it allows people to stay in their own homes for longer. It reduces the need for home adaptations and gives greater choice to disabled people who cannot achieve independent living due to a lack of suitable housing.