Thursday 15 November 2018

Affordable Housing Case Studies

East Midlands Councils formed a Task Group to look at how councils and their partners in the East Midlands could increase the delivery of affordable housing, amid concerns that without significant effort by all players in the housing delivery chain, delivery of affordable housing in the East Midlands may well be severely constrained over the next few years. The Task Group has worked with the CIH East Midlands Regional Committee to jointly publish the following examples of good practice in seeking to overcome these challenges. These examples will be added to as other case studies are identified. If you would like to provide any material to be added please send it to cathy.jones@emcouncils.gov.uk. Please use the dropdown options below to select the category of casestudy you wish to see (rural, urban etc.).

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Cross Street Eco-Towns Scheme, Gainsborough

West Lindsey District Council has worked in partnership with the Longhurst Group to deliver an exemplar scheme of quality, affordable ‘eco-housing’ in Gainsborough’s deprived south-west ward. The scheme involved the creation of 4 new-build homes, on a disused Council owned car park, constructed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5, alongside the retrofit of an ex Council owned office which has been refurbished to create 3 new units with high eco-credentials.

The project helped to address a local housing need and provide a stimulus to the local housing market as well as contributing to the wider regeneration objectives for the town by restoring a redundant site adjacent to the town centre conservation area and raising the profile of Gainsborough through a high quality ‘demonstrator’ scheme.

The Council played a key role in enabling the scheme through the provision of S106 monies allocated for affordable housing, whilst also providing a £375,000 grant received via Government as part of the eco – towns initiative.  The Council also received a sizeable land receipt for assets it put into the project, which will be used in the future towards other capital projects

An excellent partnership with the Longhurst Group also resulted in further monies being brought into the scheme via the Technology Strategy Board to monitor the performance of the properties over the coming years, after which the information will be used to inform future developments in the area.

This development which was occupied in July 2012.

Contact details and further information:

At West Lindsey District Council contact: Grant Lockett (Head of Strategic Growth) for more detail on Grant.Lockett@west-lindsey.gov.uk

The contractor on the project has created a video diary for the development, which demonstrates the partnership working that took place http://vimeo.com/47918840

A case study for the scheme can also be found here http://www.robert-woodhead.co.uk/casestudies/index.php

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Derbyshire Dales District Council: an award-winning approach in rural affordable housing delivery

The number one political and corporate priority for Derbyshire Dales District Council since 2002 has been the provision of new affordable homes. This political commitment has been backed up by the allocation of resources and a strong development team approach, leading to real success in local delivery.

In 2010 the Council reported:

“In gifting land worth £1.2 million and capital grants of £1.2 million we have achieved excellent value for money. The HCA has invested £40 million since 2003/04 yielding 569 new homes with 152 completed in 2009. A further 100 already have planning approval and will be completed in 2010. For every £1 we invest the HCA invests £16.60.”

The success of DDDC’s approach has been widely endorsed. The Derbyshire Dales Development Team – made up of nine local organisations led by the council – won the UK Housing Heroes Development Team of the Year Award in 2010 for its work to maintain house building in the area, despite the recession. The Council was also shortlisted from more than 300 entries in the 2012 award.

Partners too have endorsed the DDDC approach, putting their success down to;

1. Regular meetings with Development Control and Highways to expedite the development of housing schemes.

2. Funding of a Rural Housing Enabler, providing the lead in the development of rural housing schemes.

3. Provision of capital funding.

4. Pro-actively working to bring forward alternative funding mechanisms in conjunction with external agencies.

In April 2012, Leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council, Councillor Lewis Rose OBE said:

“Helping to provide housing that meets local needs continues to be the top priority identified by local Council Tax payers and being shortlisted for another major housing award is a tribute to the continuing terrific work that is happening here.

I am proud of the District Council's reputation of being ahead of the game when it comes to housing provision, accessing funding and fighting homelessness.

"In this tough economic climate we are having to battle hard for every penny to fund our housing projects, yet this year we are aiming to build 80 new homes and we are also making great progress in helping vulnerable people in housing need through partnership work with agencies such as the Citizens' Advice Bureau and Age UK's Housing Options service.

"We have listened to what residents say they need and since 2002 the District Council has enabled 950 new affordable homes for local people.”

Contact: Rob Coggings, Head of Housing, Derbyshire Dales DC

robert.cogings@derbyshiredales.gov.uk

 

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Disposal of Council Owned Land at Nil Value (Blaby DC Garage Sites)

Blaby District Council have approved the disposal of 7 Council owned garage sites at Nil value which will enable the development of 18 affordable housing units. The units will be predominately small family housing but will also include a small number of bungalows (1 of which will be fully adapted for people with spinal injuries). The donation of this land has also helped to unlock funding from EMHA’s Recycled Capital Grant amounting to approximately £1.9m.

Contact: Ian Jones, Housing Strategy and Policy Manager

iej@blaby.gov.uk

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Local Lend a Hand Scheme (mortgage deposit assistance)

Responding to calls for further innovation in the first-time buyer market, Lloyds TSB worked with Sector Treasury Services, part of the Capita Group, to develop the Local Lend a Hand product.   The scheme enables borrowers to buy their first home with a deposit less than the 10% required by most mortgage lenders. Blaby District Council was the first Local Authority in the country to go live with this scheme which enables first time buyers to get a foot on the housing ladder. It does this by assisting those who have found it difficult to raise the hefty 20 – 25% deposit that is now often required to secure a mortgage. The scheme is aimed at potential buyers who can afford mortgage payments but not the initial deposit to get onto the property ladder. In turn this scheme helps increase the supply of affordable housing for those who need it, and to help the local housing market and thereby the local economy.

By July 2012 31 mortgages had been completed through the Local Lend a Hand Scheme. The funds committed by the Council are held by the bank and give a preferential rate of interest. They are only called upon in the case of a lender defaulting on their payments.

Leicestershire County Council launched a £10 million scheme in September 2012 to expand the scheme to first time buyers throughout Leicestershire.  It approved about 40 mortgage applications totalling £4.2 million in its first six weeks.
For further details see the Leicestershire County Council press release and Cabinet paper (July 2012):

http://www.leics.gov.uk/pressrelease.htm?id=263595

http://politics.leics.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=135&MId=3587&Ver=4

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Release of Section 106 monies for affordable housing at Brigg Road, North Kelsey (WLDC)

West Lindsey District Council (WLDC) used Section 106 monies (£25,000) already held by the council from a Section 106 payment (£26,600) from a development elsewhere to assist the development of 8 affordable homes in North Kelsey which was otherwise unviable. Longhurst Group were the council's Partner in this development.

The project is complete and further details are available on the Rural Housing Enablers' website Living Lincolnshire http://www.livinglincs.org.uk/find-my-area/west-lindsey/projects/north-kelsey/

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Use of New Homes Bonus to support rural affordable housing in Leicestershire

Leicestershire County Council committed to use all of its 2011/12 New Homes Bonus (£530,000) and a significant proportion of the 2012/13 NHB (£490,000) to support the building of rural affordable homes, subject to match funding from appropriate District Councils. The homes are to be available to rent or for shared ownership schemes, so that families and young people are not forced by high prices to move away. Leicestershire County Council has also used around £10,000 of its New Homes Bonus to support the work of the county’s Rural Housing Enabler.

During 2011/12 this approach to the use of NHB supported :

  • 12 affordable homes on a Rural Exception Site in Sapcote, with £332,000 earmarked from the county council and £100,000 from Blaby District Council. The opening ceremony took place in October 2012.
  • 7 affordable homes in Somerby, with £188,000 from the county council and £87,000 from Melton Borough Council.

The majority of the 2012/2013 schemes are in, or are about to be submitted to the relevant local planning authorities for planning permission. Relevant Cabinet papers are at:

September 2011  

December 2011  

April 2012  

This policy will enable a total of 60 new affordable homes to be delivered in Leicestershire: homes which would not otherwise have been built. The policy has been highlighted as good practice in Meeting local housing demand - A guide for elected members: a document jointly-produced by the HCA and LGA as an enabling tool outlining what local authorities can do to help realise the housing aspirations of their communities, and what support the HCA, along with the LGA, can offer. 

Blaby District Council has also committed a total of £150,000 of its NHB towards the Rural Exception Sites at Sapcote (£100k) and Elmesthorpe (£50k). In doing so this funding levered out additional money from the County Council’s NHB allocation as well as Recycled Capital Grant Funding which in total amounts to approximately £700k. This funding will enable the development of a total of 16 new all affordable homes in the District.

BDC has also committed a total of £100k towards bringing empty properties back into use.

EMHA are working with the Council to identify empty properties that are for sale. The housing association will purchase properties and using £50k of committed Council funds will bring them up to a decent homes standard and accommodate people from the Council’s housing register at an affordable rent.

Additionally the Council has committed a further £50k for Landlords of empty properties that are in need of essential repair. Landlords will qualify for either a grant or interest free loan on properties that are in need of essential repair, however have remained empty for over 6 months due to the owner not being able to afford to carry out the work. As part of the grant and loan agreement the Landlord will re-house families from the Councils housing register.


 
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