The Duchy & Affordable Housing

The Community Planning Alliance has written to the Prince of Wales following press articles about his plans to end homelessness and how he was influenced by his mother

The crisis is one for those who are homeless, sofa surfing, on the housing waiting list or in temporary accommodation.    
We see that invariably the housing that is built is far from affordable for those people, even when described as affordable under planning terminology.   That is because the planning system provides for ‘discounted’ homes, at 20% below market price, which are out of reach to all of those truly in need, or Shared Ownership, which is also out of reach for those in greatest need and becomes progressively more unaffordable for the ‘owner’ as time goes by. 

You will be all too aware that the supply of new social housing is woefully inadequate.  In 2021-22 only 7,500 homes were built for social rent, and overall social home numbers fell by 14,000 due to the right to buy.   Council & housing association homes are down 165,000 in the past decade. We therefore congratulate you on recognising the real problem. 

We would like to urge you to consider the following:

  • Community need - ensure that what is built meets local needs and is built in collaboration with local people. It is important to redress the process imbalance in relation to community input.  In rural areas in particular, genuinely affordable housing will play an essential part in keeping our villages and countryside vibrant and thriving.  Villages should grow proportionately, with local involvement.  Rural exception sites will afford one route whereby genuinely affordable housing can be delivered.
  • Almshouses – the oldest and most genuinely affordable form of social housing, in perpetuity!   On our committee, two of us have experience as trustees of an almshouse charity, and the benefits this type of accommodation brings are many and varied.
  • Community Land Trusts - should play a strong part in delivering for housing need.

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