New affordable homes to tackle shortage

Press Release: 26/02/2013

Affordable Housing

Fifty new affordable homes will be built in Abbotts Barton in the next few years as part of Winchester City Council’s plans to tackle the district’s serious housing shortage.

The City Council aims to develop 350 new affordable homes for the district over the next 10 years in areas such as Abbotts Barton, Stanmore, Weeke, Highcliffe and Winnall.

There are around 3,500 households on the Council’s waiting list, with 100 more joining the register each month. A household with average needs and no special requirements could expect to wait three to six years for a property to become available. For the first time in seven years the Council has been forced to use temporary bed-and-breakfast accommodation to meet housing needs.

Cllr Ian Tait, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for New Homes Delivery, said

It is a real privilege to be leading the Council’s New Homes Programme. I recognise that getting the balance right between maximising the number of homes delivered and ensuring that they respect the needs of the existing community can be very demanding. Winchester is a city that has seen continual development over its history and good quality, well-designed homes will only go to strengthen and enhance this vibrant place.

As we move forward with our proposals to deliver around 50 new homes in Abbotts Barton we will continue to work with local residents and take into account their thoughts and issues as far as we possibly can.

The Abbotts Barton proposals will be considered through the normal planning process, and new homes will be well-designed with high environmental standards. Significant improvements to enhance recreational facilities and ecological enhancements are also planned.

Average house prices in the Winchester town area are over £350,000 and an income of more than £60,000 is needed to get a mortgage on a two-bed property. This affects families wishing to move to a suitable home, young people trying to set up home for the first time and older people looking to downsize. There is a knock-on effect for the area’s economic prosperity and the quality of life for residents – affordable housing can help to tackle these problems.

In recent years over 500 much-needed new affordable homes have been built in towns and villages in the Winchester district. These have included homes for rent and shared ownership, family homes, homes for single people and for those with a disability.