July 2022: Message from South Gloucestershire Council

June 26 2022

Leading the way in delivering new affordable housing

HOUSING is a major topic of our time.

Constantly-rising prices can make it difficult for younger people to take their first steps onto the property ladder or limit their ability to stay in the communities they grow up in if they want to.

Having a safe, secure, affordable home is a fundamental need for everyone at every stage of life, which is why I am so pleased with our record in delivering the high-quality, affordable homes South Gloucestershire needs.

Over the past year, more than 560 new affordable homes were completed, of which more than 280 were for social rent, 56 for affordable rent and 224 for shared ownership.

This council has a strong track record of affordable housing delivery, having seen almost 1,200 new affordable homes built since 2018.

In fact, over recent years, South Gloucestershire has regularly delivered more than 40 per cent of all new affordable homes in the West of England region.

It is particularly pleasing to see when the shock waves of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being felt acutely across all sectors, including in construction.

Although we have been making real progress, there is always more to do. So, we will continue to work closely with housing associations and developers to make sure that we get the new homes we need, built so that our communities grow in a sustainable way.

Glancing at new estates, it can sometimes appear that developers have taken a one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter approach.

But we know that everyone’s needs are different and that’s certainly the case with demands for affordable housing.

So, I am delighted that the homes we are seeing built locally are a variety of sizes and types, not just of build, but in terms of tenure. We have rent-to-buy, shared ownership and affordable rent, and they are aiming to deliver for all age groups.

We all know that the country needs more homes. But we also know that we need to be careful that in helping more people to live in our communities, we preserve what makes them so attractive in the first place.

That means a plan-led approach and the right kinds of homes in the right places, supported with the right infrastructure, with homes that meet the needs of residents at different stages of life. South Gloucestershire is leading the way in the West of England region, supporting the housing aspirations of our residents, from first-time buyers to retirees.

Long may this continue.