Affordable housing

What is affordable housing and who is it for?

'Affordable housing' is housing that is not for sale on the open market, and is aimed at those that cannot afford to buy a property on the local open market. It should remain at a price which allows people to be able to afford it in the future.

National planning policy describes three types of affordable housing:

There is often confusion surrounding the phrase 'affordable housing' and who this is for. When we or housing associations mention affordable housing it will normally cover social rent, affordable rent or shared ownership.

Types of affordable housing


Social rented - usually owned and managed by housing associations, this type of housing is offered to those in housing need from a register (waiting list), at rents well below market level.

Affordable rented - this is similar to social rented housing, but the rents charged by the housing association could be anything up to 80% of market rents.

If you are interested in applying for rented affordable housing in the district because you have a housing need you should register for housing.


Intermediate housing provides a number of different options, including intermediate rent. However, the most popular is shared ownership.

Shared ownership - this is a fantastic opportunity for those who want to get a foot on the property ladder, but cannot afford to buy their own home on the open market. It allows you to buy a share in a brand new property on a part buy/part rent basis.

As part owner of the property you can ask to buy additional shares in the property as and when you can afford it until you own the property outright. This is known as 'stair-casing'. In some rural areas the opportunity to own the property outright may be restricted.

For more information please visit our shared ownership housing page.

Contact details

Strategic Housing Team
Email this service
01327 322272

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