HSG2 Affordable Housing Strategic Policy
Where appropriate, the local planning authority will negotiate with developers and housing associations, to encourage the provision of an element of affordable housing, on sites allocated for new housing development and on sites not allocated but which come forward for development. The local planning authority will seek to ensure that such negotiated affordable housing is reserved for those most in need through the use of legal agreements.
Reasoned justification :
6.37 Affordable housing is housing built for sale or for rent at a price below the market rate and which is related to local needs. It is targeted at those whose incomes generally deny them the opportunity to purchase or rent homes at that local market rate.
6.38 The importance of affordable housing has been highlighted in recent years by rapid fluctuations in house prices and the mismatch in local income levels, often combined with the risk of home loss from repossession. This difficulty in the private sector is coupled with the reduction in the rented stock, in Wirral from 44,774 households in 1981 to 35,229 in 1991, and the difficulties faced by Housing Associations as they become the principal providers of new low rent housing.
6.39 The UDP, as a land-use plan, cannot differentiate between tenures, nor can planning controls be used to limit price or ownership. The UDP can however set the framework for negotiation with developers on large sites, where it may be desirable to provide a range of dwellings, including some at affordable prices. Many sites, are of course, already suitable for affordable housing, either through the density of development, or through their ownership, or location. Of the sites already identified in the UDP under Proposal HS1, many could be developed for Housing Association rental or low-cost private development.
6.40 In order to establish the need for affordable housing, it is essential that the UDP is co-ordinated with the Council's Housing Strategy, which will require a survey of the community's need for affordable housing. This survey will cover local income levels, house prices and rents and will provide an assessment of the annual requirement for such affordable housing.