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Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. How is the amount and mix of housing determined?

 

2. How can affordable housing be built on land outside the development boundary?

 

3. Will this development lead to further properties being buiilt in our parish?

 

4. How do we identify a potential site?

 

5. How much will be paid for the land?

 

6. What are Housing Associations and Registered Providers?

 

7. Are grants available to RPs?

 

8. Will the Parish have to fund the scheme?

 

9. What is a Section 106 (S106) Agreement?

 

10. Are affordable homes low quality homes?

 

11. How are the properties allocated?

 

12. How can we be sure that the properties will go to local people?

 

13. How will the homes remain for local people in the future?

 

14. What is Choice Based Lettings (CBL)?

 

1. How is the amount and mix of housing determined?

The Housing Needs survey will indicate the amount and type of affordable housing required.  Once the results of the survey have been analysed, proposals for the site will be produced including property types and numbers of properties for rent and shared ownership.  Any affordable housing scheme will always be designed and built to be in keeping with its surroundings to enhance the character of the village in which it is built.

 

2. How can affordable housing be built on land outside the development boundary?

There are planning regulations in place to achieve this under certain circumstances providing the following criteria are met:

  • The Parish Council support the scheme
  • It will be kept affordable for local people in perpetuity
  • It is supported by a recent housing needs survey

 

Even when the above criteria are met, the planning application will be subject to approval by planners who will consider additional wider issues.

 

3. Will this development lead to further properties being built in our Parish?

Affordable housing on an exception sites will not set any precedent for building homes outside of the development boundary.  However, if an initial scheme does not fully cater for the level of housing need in the village a further affordable housing scheme can be considered, but the whole process will be repeated, including a new Housing Needs survey from the beginning.

 

4. How do we identify a potential site?

Are you aware of land in the village that could be used as an exception site?  Be open to all possibilities.

Think about access, services and landscape setting and whether the land could be purchased for an affordable housing scheme.

 

5. How much will be paid for the land?

Exception sites have a land value that sits between agricultural and ‘hope’ value.  The price agreed for the land is important to ensure that the housing to be provided is affordable.

 

6. What are Housing Associations and Registered Providers?

A Registered Provider (RP) is a social landlord who is registered with the Homes and Communities Agency.  Most RPs are housing associations but there are also Trusts, co-operatives and companies.  They run as businesses but do not trade for private profit.  Any surplus is ploughed back into the organisation to maintain existing homes and help to finance new ones.  Many RPs have been formed to manage and develop housing stock transferred to them by local authorities. Housing Associations or RPs are the main providers of new social housing. 

 

7. Are grants available to RPs?

The RP applies for funding towards a specific scheme.  There are strict conditions to that funding and high standards regarding design, specification, energy efficiency, security, etc. These are measured by an appropriately qualified third party.  If these standards are not achieved, the RP wouldn’t be able to claim the funding.

 

8. Will the Parish have to fund the scheme?

The Parish would not be expected to make a financial contribution to the scheme, although to facilitate a scheme, some choose to donate land or sell it at a reduced rate.

 

9. What is a Section 106 (S106) Agreement?

A S106 agreement is a list of planning conditions that must be fulfilled by a developer wishing to build a scheme.  This scheme could be anywhere.  E.g. a scheme in an urban area may require a contribution to a traffic management scheme or to provide play facilities or open space nearby.  If so this would be stated in the S106. For rural schemes the S106 will include clauses referring to keeping the houses for local people and keeping them affordable in perpetuity. 

 

10. Are affordable homes low quality homes?

No.  They must achieve the Code for Sustainable Homes which enhance the requirements of Building Regulations.  There are six main elements:

1.Energy Efficiency

2.Water efficiency

3.Surface Water Management

4.Site waste management

5.Household waste management

6.The use of materials

In addition, Building Regulations set minimum standards for performance for each element which must be met.  In this way there are benefits by reducing CO2 emissions, adaptation to climate change and benefits to residents by ensuring that the homes are affordable to run.  Homes built to Code standard are pleasant and healthy places to live with more natural light and are adaptable to future needs.

 

11. How are the properties allocated?

If the scheme has been developed by a RP the homes will be allocated via a nomination agreement.  The Local Authority will nominate people based on their needs and suitability with regards to the local connection criteria.  The RP will then allocate the property and become the landlord to those residents.

The parish council has a role in making people aware that they must put their names on this register and how to do so.  Don’t forget the people who have had to leave the parish and would like to return.  Local connections are the most important factor when allocating properties on Exception sites.

 

12. How can we be sure that the properties will go to local people?

It is outlined in the S106 agreement which is legally binding to the Housing Association and the Local Authority.  People will have to qualify as being local to be nominated for a property and if no-one can be found there will be a list of neighbouring parishes that can be put forward as reserves.

 

13. How will the homes remain for local people in the future?

The Section 106 agreement ensures that all future lettings or shared ownership sales have to meet the same local connection criteria as when the homes were first built.  Tenants will have the right to exchange their home with another social housing tenant, but only if the incoming tenant meets the local connection criteria.

 

14. What is Choice Based Lettings (CBL)?

Choice Based Lettings are different from the traditional way of allocating housing via the waiting list.  CBL allows applicants for social housing (and tenants who want to transfer) to apply for vacancies which are advertised widely.  Applicants can see the full range of available properties and can apply for any home to which they are matched based on need.  Priority is given to those with urgent needs, but where possible properties are allocated on the basis of who has been waiting the longest.  Authorities provide feedback that helps applicants assess their chances of success in subsequent applications. However, CBL systems have to comply with the local connection criteria which have been agreed in the S106 agreement and therefore will only be allocated to local people.

 

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Contact

 

The Regeneration Team

01902 696000

regeneration@sstaffs.gov.uk

 

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