Do you have questions about Affordable Housing, and how to go about getting one? Check this FAQ to see if your question is answered.
If you’d like advice about Affordable Housing, renting a home from Shropshire Council, Independent Assisted Living, homelessness, housing benefits or council tax, you’ll find lots of useful information and links below.
What is Affordable Housing?
Affordable Housing is defined as social rented, affordable rented or intermediate housing that is provided to eligible households whose needs are not currently met by the open property market. Eligibility for Affordable Housing is determined according to local incomes and house prices. For an in-depth description, please refer to the 2019 National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) prepared by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Types of Affordable Housing
Social Rented Housing is owned by local authorities and private registered providers (see section 80 of the Housing & Regeneration Act 2018) and guideline target rents are determined through the national rent regime. Social Rented Housing may also be owned by other personas and provided under equivalent rental arrangements, as agreed with the either the local authority or the Homes & Communities Agency.
Affordable Rented Housing is housing which is let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing, to those who are eligible for Social Rented Housing. Affordable Rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80% of the local market rent, and this includes service charges, where applicable.
Intermediate Housing means homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above Social Rent, but below market levels – which is subject to the criteria in the Affordable Housing definition above. These can include shared equity (shared ownership and equity loans), other low–cost homes for sale and intermediate rent, but not affordable rented housing.
If a home does not meet any of the above criteria, such as ‘low cost market’ housing, it may not be considered as Affordable Housing for planning purposes.
An additional option is Discounted Ownership, which allows you to buy 100% of a property, but at a substantial discount off the open market value. Discounted Ownership properties are usually sold by a Registered Provider.
Under this model, the buyer obtains a mortgage for the discounted price, but doesn’t pay rent on the remainder. However, if you buy a Discount Ownership home, you can’t purchase any shares in the property as it’s a ‘fixed equity’ home – so when you sell it, it will have to be at the same discount percentage at which you bought it. Additionally, if you choose to sell, you’ll need to notify the Registered Provider, and your home must be sold to someone who is unable to afford a home on the open market.
Getting an Affordable Home
To get an Affordable Home, you must be on the Homepoint Register.
Renting a home from Shropshire Council
Shropshire Council provide housing support to those in severe need. To rent a home from Shropshire Council or one of its Registered Providers, you must be on the Shropshire Homepoint Register. This allows you to be considered for any new, existing homes or future homes in Shropshire. Many people wait too long to register and miss out a home they’d like to live in, so do register as soon as you can.
Additionally, Shropshire Council can also help individuals on any income who are seeking private rented accommodation, or are already in private rented accommodation, or who would like help and advice on issues like Landlord and Tenant responsibilities.
Help and advice on buying an Affordable Home
Buying a home is a big commitment and one that many people feel is out of reach for them. But there are many ways to buy a home or part-own a home, and Shropshire Council can advise you on how you might be able to do this. If you’re looking for an affordable home, the information below might be useful to you. Before buying a home, it’s important to ensure you take appropriate financial and legal advice.
What are Registered Providers and what do they do?
Registered Providers (RPs) are key to the delivery of affordable housing. They’re independent housing organisations registered with the Homes & Communities Agency under the Housing Act 1996. Most are housing associations, but there are also trusts, co-operatives, charities and companies, and they’re usually run by a board of management.
RPs provide access to a range of home types to suit the needs of the individual, including houses, flats and bungalows. As well as Social Rent, many RPs may also provide properties to part–purchase under Shared Ownership schemes. Some of the most active RPs currently working with Shropshire Council include:
Help for those who are homeless or facing homelessness
If you are homeless or facing homelessness, please contact Shropshire Council as soon as possible.
Advice on Assisted Independent Living
Assisted Independent Living is primarily for those over 55 who may some assistance, but still want to live for the most part independently. It normally takes the form of sheltered and supported housing or Extra Care. More information is provided via the links below:
Help with Housing Benefits, Council Tax, Benefits, finance or living independently
Shropshire Council provides a wide range of advice and information to support those seeking help with housing benefits, council tax, benefits, finance or independent living. Please see the links below: