The cost of housing is beyond the financial means of many residents of Canterbury. In conjunction with an overall increase in the supply of housing in the city, the Canterbury Society also advocates the building of affordable housing: smaller properties, subsidised property and property offered on a part-ownership basis. The problem of affordability has been highlighted by the Council’s Strategic Housing Market Assessment which concluded that 77% of newly-forming households in the District are unable to afford to buy or rent market housing.
While we recognise the need for market solutions to problems of housing, that is a greater supply of housing, we also see a clear role for the local Council in stipulating the need for affordable housing in new developments. According to the Council’s own report into the issue of affordability argues that a step change in the supply of new affordable homes is needed to meet demand. And in our view, the Council’s Local Plan does not go far enough to meeting this demand. To this end, we are pressing the Council to withhold planning permission for development sites unless a prerequisite number of homes were affordable.