Nearly 100 unaffordable homes built in East Devon by affordable housing body

PUBLISHED: 16:20 28 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:24 28 June 2018

Archant

Nearly 30 per cent of the houses built in East Devon by a government body, responsible for improving the amount of affordable housing, were unaffordable.

Newly-released figures have revealed that Homes England, whose stated aim is ‘to deliver a sustained improvement in affordability’, built 262 homes in East Devon between April 2015 and March 2018.

Of those, just 71 per cent were defined as ‘affordable’ - including social housing and homes with rent capped at no more than 80 per cent of the local market average. Properties bought through a scheme such as Help to Buy or shared-ownership are also included.

It means 76 of the homes, built by private contractors with support from the Government, were sold or rented at market value.

The statistics have been released at the same time as data, from the Valuation Office Agency, which revealed the median cost of renting a home in East Devon was £675 a month. The figure is the median monthly rent for all houses in the area, between April 2017 and March 2018.

In the last four years the price has risen by 3.8 per cent – which is less than the average increase across England.

East Devon’s overall median rent is however lower than average for the South West, which is £700 a month.

The data also revealed that the median monthly cost of renting a one-bedroom property in East Devon was now £495 – 2.5 per cent more than in 2013/14.

Where as renting a three-bed family home the median cost was £795 a month – which has risen by six per cent in four years.

So far all of the 66 new builds, started by Homes England in the last year, have been designated as affordable.

Homes England’s chief executive Nick Walkley said: “These official figures show that the overall number of homes being built continues to steadily increase, but we know there is more to do. Homes England will bring together our money, expertise, and planning and compulsory purchase powers to secure the delivery of new homes, where they are most needed, and improve affordability that can be sustained over time.

“We are investing over £3billion of affordable housing grant over the 2016-21 period to help housing associations, local councils and developers build affordable homes for communities across England, and are working closely with the sector to realise their ambitions for affordable housing.”

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