75 per cent increase in the number of affordable homes built in a year
Dorset Council can announce a strong step forward in its work with Registered Provider Housing Associations, responding to the growing need for affordable housing.
In the year to March 2021, 301 new affordable homes were built by Housing Associations or acquired by the council. In the last year, to March 2022, there was success in raising the number to 529 new houses and flats. This means 529 families, couples and single people have been able to move into a much needed homes across the whole of the council area. This has helped the council to respond to pressures relating to homelessness, as well as providing a new home to people waiting on the housing register.
The bulk of the 529 homes have been built by Housing Associations, including Aster, Sovereign, Magna and Abri, and the council has had great success securing grants from Homes England to support this programme.
The number of new properties also includes a small number of homes the council has used grants and their own capital resources to acquire and bring empty properties back into use. Since December 2020, 29 one-bedroom flats and 12 modular units, which have been located on the Park and Ride site in Weymouth, have been acquired. These have been a great help for people who have experienced rough sleeping and are now benefitting from support to help maintain a tenancy.
Community groups have also come together to work with registered providers and provide affordable homes in their villages and towns. These schemes are specifically for people with links to the area. Homes in Bridport and Drimpton are being built because Community Land Trusts and more planning applications have been submitted from like minded Trusts in other areas. The council also support the Trusts in their journey to building affordable homes.
Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “I am delighted to see excellent progress in providing new homes across the Dorset Council area.
“Everyone knows rents and costs are rising and being able to provide the right kind of affordable housing really does make a difference to people’s lives.
“Well done to the Housing Associations and our council teams for getting so many homes built during challenging economic times.”