Arun is setting up it’s own Housing company to commercially develop housing for profit to feed these profits back to help subsidise services. I was on the Cabinet working party helping to shape the strategy and the opportunities.
|Modern UK Prefabricated Housing.|
I want to look to build shared ownership property where Aruns young people on modest wages can afford to buy 25% of their own property whilst they rent the balance. Government can borrow money at the lowest rates in history, this can be fed through the Public Loans Board to help provide finance to these types of developments. It’s in effect Social(Council) housing for the 21st century. The rental element is affordable and the fact that they borrow a lower amount they can have a lower deposit, so someone on £20,000pa can build up a deposit of £4000, borrow £45000 and rent the balance. For a one bedroom flat it brings property ownership for about £700 per month and they can own and can build up over time more and more equity as their wages improve, I believe this is a golden opportunity to solve the housing crisis in our area.
It’s now clear that Arun will have to accept a target of building about 1000 houses a year which will be a difficult sell to local communities who do not want these numbers. The problem is that the UK needs to build 250,000 per annum which everyone seems to agree to, but they don’t want them in their locality, which leaves a difficult political conundrum.
I believe that local communities would accept additional housing if they knew that it was for the sons and daughters of Arun, rather than sucking in new residents from more expensive places like London, incomers tend to want more expensive larger houses which creates a local housing inflation, if we can balance this type of housebuilding with more shared ownership then I believe it’s an easier sell, also shared ownership by it’s nature is of a higher density and takes a smaller land foot print.
But also local communities want infrastructure to accompany any new house building, I know that roughly when you read this article that a new white paper is being issued by Gavin Barwell the very able Minister for Housing, it will be uncomfortable reading as I think he will promote a speeding up of development and also new towns, there is one planned for near Partridge Green, close to the M23 ( it’s name Merryfields), but also Ford are looking at a development of up to 1500 houses which in effect will be a new village, challenging times!
Until next month
Paul Dendle is Arundel & Walberton and Cabinet member on arun District Council, email address is firstname.lastname@example.org web www.pauldendle.org