Housing

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 16th January 2007.

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Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what definition she uses of the term 'affordable housing'; how many affordable homes there are in the Chelmsford local authority area; and how many there were in 1997.

Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Minister of State (Department of Communities and Local Government) (Housing and Planning)

Affordable housing includes social rented and intermediate housing, provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Affordable housing should:

Meet the needs of eligible households including availability at a cost low enough for them to afford, determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices.

Include provision for the home to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or, if these restrictions are lifted, for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.

This new definition is provided in "Planning Policy Statement 3—Housing" (CLG, December 2006, page 25), and replaces the definition in "Planning Policy Guidance Note 3: Housing (PPG3)" and "DETR Circular 6/98 Planning and Affordable Housing".

Reported data on the number of affordable homes in the Chelmsford local authority area show that:

In 1997 there were 1,437 social rented homes provided by RSLs and 7,796 by the local authority.

In 2006 there were 9,141 social rented homes provided by RSLs and none by the local authority.

At least 272 intermediate (low cost home ownership) homes were provided in 1997-98 to 2005-06, of which 199 received Housing Corporation grant.

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