Affordable home ownership in Suffolk Coastal

A strategic approach to dealing with the issues and opportunities presented by an increase in numbers (allocation) of affordable home ownership prosperities in Suffolk Coastal.


The challenge

Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) appointed Pathfinder Development Consultants to identify the opportunities and issues presented by the increase in numbers of affordable home ownership properties that will result from the emerging Suffolk Coastal local plan. The new policy on affordable housing on residential developments (SCLP5.10) significantly changes the tenure split between rented and ownership in favour of the latter. The council recognised the need to consider all the implications and adequately prepare for this change.


The solution

Working with Pathfinder Development Consultants a ‘Findings and Options Report’ was produced which sets out the key findings and options in relation to policy, practice and processes. It has provided an evidence base for the production of a separate strategy document, which builds on objectives, priorities and preferred options.


The impact (including cost savings/income generated if applicable)

The Project Steering Group considered a number of options and subsequently agreed an option for each recommendation.


How is the new approach being sustained?

The findings and recommendations from the report have resulted in the development ofAffordable Home Ownership in Suffolk Coastal District Council 2019-2021’. This strategy draws together the agreed priorities and the preferred options for policy, practice and processes.  


Lessons Learnt

The research has highlighted that shared ownership targeted at one and two bed accommodation will be the most successful, with a preference for shared ownership rather than shared equity. This was an important lesson as our expectation before the study was that shared equity should be our target.

We have also come to realise that our criteria for shared equity did not align with the Homes England criteria for shared ownership, and the nomination processes for this type of tenure needed significant improvement. This extends to the lack of regular and consistent monitoring and auditing to ensure that homes are being bought in line with our criteria or s.106 requirements.


Contact

Benjamin Porter, 01502 523334, Benjamin.porter@eastsuffolk.gov.uk