Wye with Hinxhill Parish Council

Working for Wye - past, present and future

Clerk: Debbie Baines
Parish Council Office, Unit 2B
Briar Close, Bramble Lane
Wye, Ashford, Kent TN25 5HB

Tel: 01233 812459

Local needs housing

Image: Squires, a terrace of Edwardian cottages and one of several in Wye that Imperial College, the previous owners left empty for years.

What is local needs housing?

"...Rural local needs homes are those provided by a Registered Provider of Social Housing (RPSH) also known as a Housing Association, to enable local people to remain in the village where they live or work and not be forced to move away because of high house prices and high rents. These homes remain available for people with local connections in perpetuity..."

Rural Local Needs Housing Guidance Notes, Ashford Borough Council (2013)

Guidance for individuals and organisations involved in the provision of local needs housing in rural locations

Wye Housing Needs Survey 2013

Executive summary (extract)

"...The Wye 2030 Neighbourhood Plan household survey in July 2012 identified the level of local support for the principle of affordable housing. The responses showed that 75.3% of households considered that it was 'very important' (43.9%) or 'important' (31.4%) to provide affordable housing.

Whereas 7% of respondents considered the issue to be 'unimportant', and 4.3% 'very unimportant' and the remaining 13.5% were neutral.

Of the 795 households who returned the survey, 773 answered this question. Over 76% of all occupied households responded to the survey.

High property prices and a predominance of privately owned homes means that some local people are unable to afford a home within the parish. This problem is exacerbated at present as tighter restrictions are being placed on mortgages by lenders; the result of the current economic climate. For a first time buyer an income of approximately £34,000 per annum and a deposit of £21,000 is needed to buy the cheapest property available within the parish, which, at the time of writing the report, was a 1 bedroom cottage for £140,000.

To be able to afford to rent privately an income of approximately £26,400 is required to rent a 1 bedroom stable conversion for £550 per calendar month.

Analysis also identified that:

• A total of 50 adults and 33 children have a housing need.

• 15 (54%) of those in housing need were families.

• In total 24 respondents with a housing need currently live in Wye with Hinxhill Parish and four more live outside the parish, but they all have at least one local connection.

The Local Housing Needs Survey identified a need for up to 28 affordable homes, for the following local household types:

• 4 single people

• 9 couples without children

• 15 families

Action with Communities in Rural Kent prepared the report on behalf of Ashford Borough Council and Wye with Hinxhill Parish Council.

Local needs housing: a case study

Image: High quality 'local needs' housing, Godmersham

The absence of sufficient affordable homes in our rural communities is not a new problem - in fact it is a problem that has got worse in recent years. High property values, increased aspirations to live in the countryside and limited development of new homes have all had an impact, resulting in many local households now being unable to afford to remain within the rural community where they have grown up and have support networks.

Small scale affordable rural housing developments help to rebalance communities, keeping families together whilst providing a boost for local services. Parish and town councils are a driving force for change and a key partner in delivering affordable homes for local people. Please take time to read this practical guide and think about what can be achieved in your own community.

HRH The Princess Royal

Patron, English Rural Housing Association

Local needs housing: documents

  • Wye Local Housing Needs Survey 2013 (PDF, 603 Kb)

    Registration of Interest

  • Affordable Rural Housing: A practical guide for parish councils (PDF, 5.5 Mb)

    Affordable Rural Housing report, published by the Rural Housing Alliance

  • Affordable Rural Local Needs Housing (PDF, 279 Kb)

    Guidance published by Ashford Borough Council for individuals, parish councils and other organisations involved in the provision of local needs housing in rural locations.

    Rural local needs homes are those provided by a Registered Provider of Social Housing (RPSH) also known as a Housing Association, to enable local people to remain in the village where they live or work, and not be forced to move away because of high house prices and high rents. Crucially, unlike other forms of social housing, which are subject to right to buy, these units remain available in perpetuity to rent by people with local connections.