Dover District Council is committed to delivering an ambitious programme of new Council housing which will see the highest number of new Council homes built in a generation. The Council also wants to support those who would like to own their own home but cannot afford to buy outright by facilitating an increased programme of affordable home ownership schemes.
The provision of new affordable housing is a key element of the Government’s plan to end the housing crisis, tackle homelessness and provide aspiring homeowners with a step onto the housing ladder.
Dover District Council would like to make sure that all new affordable housing is built to meet the needs of residents in the District. We also support Registered Providers (also known as Housing Associations) to build affordable housing.
Over the coming years, we plan to increase the number of new affordable homes we provide in the District ourselves. A current building programme is underway and you can find out more about this by reading the Dover District Local Plan.
Opportunities for local businesses may arise during the development of affordable housing. For details of how to do business with Dover District Council, please click here: Doing Business with DDC (dover.gov.uk)
What is Affordable Housing?
Affordable housing includes social and affordable rented homes, provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. There are two main types of affordable housing, affordable rental properties and affordable home ownership. An affordable property can be a new-build property or a private sector property that has been purchased for use as an affordable home, and can range from flats, houses and bungalows.
Affordable homeownership includes properties through the Shared Ownership and First Homes schemes, both support first-time buyers into home ownership. More can be found out about these schemes by visiting our webpages below.
The planning process asks developers to included affordable housing as part of their new developments. Recently we have started to build new affordable housing ourselves, with a range of new Council Housing.
Community-led housing as well as self and custom house building is also a key aspect of providing new affordable housing in the district. The Council is here to support groups and individuals navigate their way through the funding, planning and development processes to provide affordable housing for themselves and their communities.
The Council undertook a district wide housing needs survey to improve our understanding of housing needs of district reseidents. The results from this survey have now be published.
Affordable housing updates
November 2023: Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill
The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill was first introduced in November 2023, and will make long-term and necessary changes to improve homeownership for millions of leaseholders in England and Wales, by making it more affordable and easier for leaseholders to extend their lease, buy their freehold and take over gthe management of their building.
An overview of the Bill, including a summary of the proposed changes and provisions can be found here.
July 2023: Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023
The Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023 has now become law. The Act introduces a new era of regulation for the social housing sector and will enact the reforms outlined in the Social Housing White Paper, which aims included improving the regulation of social housing, strengthening tenant’s rights, and ensuring better quality and safer homes for residents.
The Act gives tenants greater powers and improve access to swift and fair redress, offering greater protection to social housing tenants against serious hazards in their homes, and ensuring a better service and quality of life.
What will be the impact of the Act on social housing?
The Act will have a direct impact on the social housing sector. Some of the key aspects of the Act are:
- enhanced powers for the Regulator of Social Housing including stronger enforcement powers.
- additional Housing Ombudsman powers to publish best practice guidance to landlords following investigations into tenant complaints.
- power to set string time limits for social landlords to address hazards such as damp and mould.
- new qualification requirements for social housing managers.
- introduction of stronger economic powers to follow inappropriate money transactions outside the sector.
- tenant empowerment
What are the next steps?
The Regulator of Social Housing plans to consult on revisions to the consumer standards, and the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) will also consult on the measures to take forward the government’s social housing reform programme, including Awaab’s Law, changes to the Decent Homes Standard and professionalisation of the sector.
Find out more about the Act here.
July 2023: Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023
The Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act became law on 29 August 2023. The new legislation will affect supported housing providers by setting a framework for new systems for the supported housing and older person’s housing sector, and tackling issues around exempt accommodation.
What will the act mean for supported housing providers?
The Act will introduce new systems for:
- require local authorities in England to review supported housing in their areas and develop strategies, quantifying existing supply and local need.
- provide for the creation of a national expert advisory panel to advise on matters related to supported housing.
- give the Secretary of State power to introduce national support standards
- give local authorities power to create local licensing schemes for exempt accommodation
- give the Secretary of State an option to introduce a new planning Use-Class for exempt accommodatio
What are the next steps?
The Government plans to publish a formal consultation in the Autumn on the detailed implementation of the new system. The first round of consultation will review the new provision in the Act, as well as a review by the DWP on the definition of ‘Care, Support and Supervision’. A second public consultation is expected to take place sometime in 2024 and will include the draft regulations developed by DLUHC and the DWP.
Find out more about the Act here.
May 2023: Homes England launches its new Strategic Plan 2023 - 2028
Homes England, the Government's housing accelerator responsible for enabling the supply and development of new affordable housing, has published its next five-year Strategic Plan. The Plan sets out how Homes England will support communities and families by enabling the delivery of more good quality, affordable homes alongside the regeneration of towns and cities across England in tandem with the provisions set out in the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill 2022. The Plan commits to:
- Work in a more place based way, tailoring powers, funding, expertise and technical capacity to the specific challenges faced in different parts of England
- Focus on working with the Government to play an active role in building safety
- Provide support to local leaders to overcome capacity and capability barriers that are delaying delivery on the ground
- Contribute to the levelling-up agenda by expanding regeneration work that not only provides housing but also offers employment, retail and leisure spaces.
Discover more about the Plan and Homes England here.
March 2023: Help to Buy comes to an end
The Help to Buy service which was introduced in 2013 with the aim of supporting households buy a new build property without the need to pay a large deposit has now come to and end.
From 1 March 2023, prospective appplicants are not required to sign up to the Help to Buy service to apply and buy a Shared Ownership property. Applicants can now check themselves whether they are eligible for the Shared Ownership scheme by using Homes England's online eligibility checker.
July 2022: Building Safety Act 2022
The Building Safety Act 2022 overhauls existing regulations to ensure that residential builings are constructed, maintained and kept safe, and makes ground-breaking reforms to give residents and homeowners more rights, powers, and protections – so homes across the country are safer.
These changes mean that owners will manage their buildings better and the home-building industry has a clear framework to deliver more, and better high-quality homes.
It is expected that many of the provisions in the Act will be implemened over the coming years. Discover more about the Act here.
February 2022: Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022
The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 is due to come into force from 30 June 2022. The Act states that leases granted after this date cannot charge ground rents and instead should be set at a 'peppercorn' rate (£nil), although there are some exemptions. Discover more about the Act here.
September 2021: MHCLG rebranded as the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities
Michael Gove has replaced Robert Jenrick for Secretary of State for the rebranded Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) previously referred as the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Find our more here.
June 2021: First Homes scheme starts
The pilot for the new First Homes scheme has started. First Homes are a specific kind of discounted market sale housing to help first time buyers buy their first home and get onto the property ladder. Find out more by visiting the Government website and our First Homes webpage.
April 2021: New Shared Ownership scheme 2021 and Right to Shared Ownership
The Government will be funding a new model of Shared Ownership through the Affordable Homes Programme 2021-2026. up to 50% of homes delivered through this programme will be for the new model of Shared Ownership. The new model reduced the initial stake from 25% to 10% equity, and have enabled shared owners to staircase in smaller instalments of as little as 1%, down from 10%, with heavily reduced fees.
Alongside this scheme, the Government will also be implementing a 'Right to Shared Ownership'. This will help many people renting social housing who live in new homes delivered through the Affordable Homes Programme 2021-2026 get onto the housing ladder. Find out more here.
April 2021: Affordable Homes programme 2021 - 2026
The provision of affordable housing is a key element of the government's plan to end the housing crisis, tackle homelessness and provide aspiring home owners with a step onto the housing ladder. From April 2021 the Government has made £7.39 billion available to Homes England, the Government's housing accelerator, to deliver up to 130,000 affordable homes by March 2026 - outside of London. Find out more here.
Keep up to date with affordable housing in the district
Sign-up to our Keep Me Posted email bulletin service to keep up to date about affordable housing and development in the District by selecting 'Affordable Housing' as an interested topic.
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