16. Write your own appraisal of the current affordable housing development sector and include examples of current initiatives where sustainable solutions
The government defines affordable housing as “social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market”.
There is a need for affordable housing because our population has risen over the past 20 years, housebuilding numbers during the same period has decreased and house prices and rents particularly in London, the South East and South West have shot up.
Following the initiative of the Conservative government in the 1970’s to offer the sale of council houses to tenants, and the huge take up in the offer, the local authorities didn’t follow up the continued build programme for social housing, thus leading to expensive private land lord tenancies which people on low income or supported earnings can’t afford.
Through the 1980’s and 1990’s initiatives were offered to private developers to introduce shared ownership, where occupies would pay a minimal rent and given the opportunity to part purchase the property through a mortgage.
This did generate new affordable housing into the millennium but then with the recession hitting and grant funded programmes being stopped the government led plans stopped, and the build volumes reduced.
D.Ballantyne mentioned in 2016 4 key points that determine the cost of affordable housing – Housing equity, Construction costs, Land, and Financing.
He continues that most affordable housing would normally achieve sub-market pricing so to achieve realistic builds of affordable housing some form of grant is required to deliver the housing requirement.
Whilst construction ideas improve costs aren’t reducing, other than running costs as properties become more energy efficient.
Building initiatives between the private sector and government planning development department needs continued relaxation of planning laws to release land for development whilst recognising environmental and sustainability of any development.
Points to consider when planning for an affordable housing development are: -The need for a new building as opposed to doing nothing, refurbishment or changes in working practices.
Contractual requirements in relation to the selection of materials, monitoring and reporting, track record, environmental accreditation and qualifications of staff.
Availability of transport, the selection of a greenfield or brownfield site, the local availability of resources and services, the local infrastructure and local ecology.
Procurement route, travel plan, working methods, standards, ecology and landscape, energy use and energy source, flexibility and durability, waste management, water management, material selection and pollution.
Energy use and energy source, embodied energy, use of harmful materials, material sources, ecology and landscape, flexibility and durability, waste management, water management, disposal, travel plan and pollution.
Contractual requirements such as monitoring and reporting, working practices, track record, environmental accreditation and qualifications of staff.
Transport, embodied energy, use of harmful materials, material sources, working methods, site waste management plan, recycling, pollution, wheel washing, dust generation and noise nuisance.
Energy source, energy use, water management, maintenance, resource management, waste management, flexibility, durability, landscape and ecology, pollution, evaluation and feedback.
Dismantling and demolition, re-use, re-sale and recycling, landscape and ecology, hazardous materials and pollution.
To achieve the reality of successful new build for affordable housing the government lead financial departments and private sector builders need to agree long term revenue plans with profit share and long-term loans to fund the need for affordable housing.