FAQs - Housing Needs Survey

Why do we carry out housing needs surveys?

As a local authority we have a duty to assess housing needs under the Housing Act 1985 and more recently the National Planning Policy Framework asks local authorities to find out about the need for housing (both market and affordable).

In these surveys we ask a number of questions to identify current and future household needs for the next five years. This information helps us to understand and work towards improving housing provision and meeting identified local housing need.

We ask about household income and housing needs so we can assess the need for affordable rented, shared ownership and /or home ownership housing.

We can estimate the number of new homes required in the district by looking at population projections, but housing needs surveys provide us with a more detailed understanding of resident's needs. This includes the sizes of new homes required in each part of the district, informing decisions on planning applications and working with housing associations to build more affordable housing where it is needed.

Why do we carry out surveys when there is already a Housing Register (or Waiting List)?

The survey tries to identify housing need across all tenures. This includes affordable housing, shared ownership, private rented and open market home ownership. If we only used our the register, it would not identify everyone who has a need for different types of housing.

Also, many residents do not join the housing register because they think that there are no properties available locally that will suit them. A housing need survey makes sure that we identify the needs of these people.

Why do I need to complete a survey if I don't have a housing need?

As well as finding out about the housing needed in the district we would also like to know your views about housing locally.

What is affordable housing?

Affordable homes are a way of helping people who cannot afford to buy or rent housing on the open market. The housing is usually provided by a housing association and can be available for rent or part buy through schemes known as Shared Ownership. This scheme allows people to buy and own a percentage of their home, and pay rent on the remaining share.

What is open market housing?

These are homes available to anyone from anywhere with the means to buy a home, sometimes with the help of a loan, called a mortgage, from a bank or building society.

What is private rented housing?

These are homes that are owned, managed or let out by a private landlord. The landlord can be an individual or a company.

What is Shared Ownership housing?

Shared Ownership homes are properties where a purchaser buys a share of between 25% and 75% of the market value of the property. The purchaser pays rent on the remaining share of the property, which is owned by a housing association.

What is a housing association?

This is an independent, not for profit organisation that builds and manages homes which are for rent and shared ownership. They work with us to house people who cannot access housing on the open market.

Do surveys mean that more homes will be built ?

No, the survey will simply ensure that planning decisions are made on the basis of good evidence and does not automatically mean that new homes will be planned in your area. The evidence could support new development or equally it could support a decision not to allow new development.

Why do we ask for personal financial information?

The information on income and savings is key to determining the size and tenure of any new affordable homes that are required to meet local housing need. Affordability is worked out by comparing a household's income with the cost of meeting their housing needs on the open market. This can only be done if we have information on both the type and size of home you need to move into AND what income you have to pay for it.

Are responses confidential?

Yes, all information given will be treated as confidential and will only be used for the purposes for which it was given.

Do it Online

How do you rate this page?

Website Feedback