Assessing affordability and housing tenures
Affordable housing in Herefordshire is housing:
- Provided at below market prices and
- Allocated on the basis of need to people who are unable to purchase or rent houses generally available on the open market without financial assistance, as their only home, and they:
- Live or work in Herefordshire or
- Need to move to Herefordshire to receive or provide support
The recipients can include:
- First time buyers who cannot afford to purchase on the open market
- Families who need larger accommodation and cannot afford to rent or buy a suitable property on the open market
- Households who need properties that are adapted to meet their individual needs
- Households with support needs including people with learning disabilities, physical and/or mental health needs, people who are at risk of or have experienced abuse
How we assess affordability
We have a duty to assess an applicant's affordability to purchase an affordable property. The Homes England calculator is used to ensure the applicant is eligible, are unable to purchase on the open market and can afford the property.
Types of tenures available
Social rent is owned by local authorities and private registered providers (as defined in section 80 of the Housing and Regeneration Act). These rents are in line with guideline target rents which are determined through the government's rent policy.
Affordable rented housing
This is let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80 percent of the local market rent (including service charges, where applicable).
Affordable private rent housing
This is housing that is made available for rent at a level which is at least 20 percent below local market rent. Eligibility is determined with regards to local incomes and local house prices. Provision should be made to ensure that the affordable private rent housing remains available for rent at a discount for future eligible households or for alternative affordable housing provision to be made if the discount is withdrawn. Affordable private rented housing is particularly suited to the provision of affordable housing as part of the Build to Rent Schemes.
This is housing that is provided for sale and rent at a cost above social rent, but below market levels. Eligibility is determined with regards to local incomes and local house prices. It should also include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for any receipts to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision. These include shared ownership, shared equity, low cost market discounted market, rent to buy and intermediate rent.
This is housing that is provided by a registered provider or private landlord. The housing provided will have the same characteristics as social rented housing except that it is outside the national rent regime. It is subject to other rent controls that require it to be offered to eligible households at a rent of up to 100 percent of the Local Housing Allowance (housing benefit for people who rent a home from a private landlord) for Herefordshire.
Rent to buy
This is housing provided by registered providers that is let at an intermediate rent for a maximum of five years to a household that is looking to buy but are unable to save for a deposit.
Ownership is under the terms of a lease by which a lessee may acquire a share or shares of the equity from the registered provider who retains the remainder and may charge a rent.
Discounted market sales housing
This is housing that is at least 20 percent below local market value. Eligibility is determined with regards to local incomes and local house prices. It should include provisions to remain at a discount for future eligible households.
Low cost market housing
This is housing that is sold at a discount of at least 30 percent below local market level. In Herefordshire any discount should be sufficient to meet local housing needs. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. It should include provisions to remain at a discount for future eligible households.
How to apply
This is housing that 100 percent of the title is to be transferred to a qualifying purchaser at no more than 80 percent of open market value subject to a legal charge in favour of the council for 20 percent of the unit's equity value.
These are a specific kind of discounted market sale housing and should be considered to meet the definition of affordable housing for planning purposes. Specifically, First Homes are discounted market sales units which:
- Must be discounted by a minimum of 30 percent against the market value
- Are sold to a person or persons meeting the First Homes eligibility criteria
- On their first sale, will have a restriction registered on the title at HM Land Registry to ensure this discount (as a percentage of current market value) and certain other restrictions are passed on at each subsequent title transfer and
- After the discount has been applied, the first sale must be at a price no higher than £250,000 (or £420,000 in Greater London)
Strategic housing contact details
If you are a prospective developer or a parish council and would like advice on developing affordable housing, or if you are looking for advice on the feasibility of developing affordable housing on a particular site, please use the pre-application process on the planning pages.Send Email