One of the strategic enabling teams functions is to increase in the supply of affordable housing within Wychavon.

Our Partners

To deliver the new affordable homes we need, we work with:

Housing Associations

They are responsible for building and then letting or selling new affordable homes. The following housing associations are active in developing new affordable homes in our district:

Homes England and the Regulator of Social Housing

Homes England is a public body whose responsibilities include increasing the number of new homes built in England. They provide a range of important funding streams for new affordable homes. The Regulator of Social Housing is responsible for the regulation of ‘registered providers', such as housing associations, in England.

Developers and house builders

Section 106 Agreements

Many affordable homes on new housing schemes are built as a result of planning policies requiring them to be provided. In these cases, and also in the case of community-led schemes, developers are required to sign a legally-binding agreement to secure delivery of the required affordable homes and regulate their further occupancy. These agreements are known as planning obligations or Section 106 Agreements.

Planning Policy - Affordable Housing Threshold

The South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) was adopted on 25th February 2016 and it included policies for seeking developer contributions towards infrastructure including affordable housing (Policy SWDP15). That policy requires affordable housing contributions from sites which include 1 dwelling or more, including conversions.

The Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was subsequently published in October 2016 and provides further guidance to developers on the councils approach relating to the delivery of affordable housing across the three south Worcestershire Council’s (Wychavon, Malvern Hills and Worcester City).

In July 2018 the Government published a revised version of its National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (subsequently amended in February 2019) setting out a new national threshold for the provision of affordable housing.

The NPPF is a material planning consideration and the 2019 version post-dates the adoption of SWDP and the South Worcestershire Affordable Housing SPD. To assist with clarity and for the avoidance of doubt, the Council produced a pdf Formal Position Statement (343 KB) in June 2019 in respect of the requirement for affordable housing under Policy SWDP15. This explains how the three south Worcestershire councils will apply the changes to the above policies until they are superseded by policies adopted through the SWDP Review. In the meantime the Formal Position Statement may be updated further e.g. to accommodate any subsequent changes to national policy.

Types of affordable housing

  • Affordable housing for rent through a housing association
  • Build to Rent (also known as Affordable Private Rent) – properties available to rent under the private rented sector. The rent levels are at least 20% below local market rents (inclusive of service charges if applicable) for the same or equivalent property. Usually, tenancy agreements of three years or more are offered.
  • Starter homes – if you are a first- time buyer, the Starter Homes scheme could help you buy a new-build home with a 20% discount. You must be below the age of 40.
  • Discounted market sales housing - where you purchase a home at a discounted rate which is usually at least 20% less than the market value, and when you come to sell, the property will be sold at the same discounted percentage.
  • Shared Ownership – You buy a share of your home (between 25% and 75%) and pay rent on the rest. Shared Ownership properties can be purchased from a housing association.

You can learn more about the scheme and what it has to offer by reading the Shared Ownership advice on the Help 2 Buy website .

To find a Shared Ownership home, please visit the Help to Buy Agent Midlands and London website.

To apply for a Shared Ownership home, you will need to contact the Housing Association/Registered Provider selling or renting the property to express your interest. Before you can reserve a property or arrange a viewing you will need to have completed a Help to Buy application form and been approved for the scheme.

Identifying housing need

As a council, we regularly assess and puts in place plans to meet local housing needs, including affordable housing needs.
We assess housing need by:

  • Strategic Housing Market Assessment
  • Housing Register data
  • Housing Needs Surveys

To address this need, we expect a percentage of most new housing developments to be affordable housing.

More detailed affordable housing requirements in terms of types, sizes and tenures are fixed on a site by site basis after considering: the housing needs of the district; any site-specific issues; and, in rural areas, the locality. However, as regards tenure, based upon the Strategic Housing Market Assessment the council normally expects the affordable housing to be 80% social rented and 20% intermediate housing products.

Housing needs surveys

We undertake rural housing needs surveys to examine current and future housing needs. The surveys are completed by households in the selected parishes. Each survey provides data that can be used to inform the planning of new housing developments and demonstrate the need for increased affordable housing.

Visit www.homechoiceplus.org.uk to search for affordable rented properties.

During 2020/21 we will be completing a number of Housing Needs Surveys across Wychavon, the following parishes will receive a housing needs survey during this financial year:

  • North Claines
  • North and Middle Littleton
  • South Littleton
  • Honeybourne
  • Harvington
  • Hanbury
  • Hartlebury
  • Tibberton

Once the survey is closed, a report will be published and available on our website.

We will publish our plan housing needs surveys plan for 2021/22 during March 2021.

Rural Housing Awareness Newsletters

Useful documents