“Tough times” ahead for East Devon housing providers

PLANNERS working on a blueprint for the future of Sidmouth, Ottery and East Devon say housing providers face “tough times”.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) Local Development Framework (LDF) Panel this week focused on ‘affordable’ homes and neighbourhood plans.

EDDC’s head of housing, John Golding, told the panel that the authority needed to provide affordable dwellings at a significantly greater rate, but Government funding for such schemes could be cut by 60per cent while rents could rise by up to 30per cent for new tenants.

Mr Golding said: “In the last financial year we delivered 108 new affordable homes, including 17 council own-build properties. To meet known housing needs, we must be providing more like 230 to 250 new affordable homes each year.

The emerging LDF policies are central to our ability to deliver affordable housing to meet our ambitions”.

Councillor Mike Allen, LDF Panel chairman, said: “We’ve heard today just how big a challenge we are facing in terms of providing homes for people on low incomes in an area of high house prices, with reduced support from Government.

“We may have to face the possibility that our preferred 40per cent rate of affordable housing in some developments may have to change in some parts of the district”.