Housing plan to be discussed by senior councillors

PR 8210
11 April 2016

Members of Wakefield Council’s Cabinet are to discuss a plan for the district’s current and future housing needs when they meet on April 19.

A report called the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) aims to help the Council ensure that the right mix of new homes is built to meet local housing needs and demand.

Councillors will discuss the SHMA report which looks in depth at housing requirements in all areas across the district with the aim of trying to match the type of housing people need with the homes on offer.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Skills, said: “We will be discussing this report as we need to ensure that we have the right mix of homes in our district. This is a fantastic area which is a great place to live, work and do business. It is very important to have the right housing in place to support our aspirations for the district.”

The SHMA report takes account of changes in the local economy and in the population. It also looks in detail at the need for different types of homes, such as affordable housing, and the needs of older people, families with children, people with disabilities, and those wishing to build their own homes.
The study forecasts that the number of homes in the district needs to increase by 1,524 per year, to keep pace with the rate at which new households are forming. There is a need for more three and four bedroom detached homes, more three bed semi-detached homes, bungalows and flats in some areas.

The report found that empty homes in the district have fallen by 33 percent, from 5,847 in 2010 down to 3,892 in 2014. The number of homes empty for more than six months in the same period fell by 51 percent from 2,878 to 1,396.This came about due to the Council’s on-going work with home owners.
The report also highlights that 604 new affordable homes per year are needed, and most people who needed an affordable home wanted to rent rather than part-buy.

A housing survey also found the majority of older people wanted to stay in their own home, with help and support when needed, but some are looking to buy or rent a suitable smaller home.

Councillors are being recommended to approve the SHMA report, which would be used to help plan a range of housing and planning policies, projects and funding bids.

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