Grant funding of more than £450,000 awarded for new affordable housing in Henley
It was agreed by South Oxfordshire District Council last week to award grant funding of more than £450,000 towards the cost of creating new affordable housing in Henley.
The funding came from developer contributions (S106)* and has gone to the Henley and District Housing Trust to develop properties for Social Rent. The plan is to develop two two-bedroomed properties and convert a third property into two one-bedroomed flats.
At the Council meeting on Thursday, it was agreed to give the housing trust 50 per cent of the cost of creating these new homes, which will also be fitted with solar panels to reduce their carbon footprint.
Planning consent has been obtained by the trust. Work has already started on two properties which are situated next to five existing cottages within the trust’s ownership. These are at School Cottages, Greys Green. A third property in Henley – also owned by the trust – will be converted to two flats. This results in a net gain of three new affordable properties.
Rents on all the properties will be charged at Social Rent levels – these are calculated using a government formula based on relative property values and relative local earnings. They normally fall significantly below Affordable Rent levels, which can be up to 80 per cent of prevailing market rents in a given area. Social Rent ensures that rents are as affordable as possible in an area of very high market values.
There is significant demand for affordable housing in the Henley on Thames area, with 338 households on the council’s housing register stating Henley as their first preference.**
Cllr Robin Bennett, South Oxfordshire District Council cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, said: “It is great news that the council is able to put contributions from developers back into providing truly affordable housing in the Henley area, which desperately needs more homes like these. Providing homes that people can afford is a key goal for our administration. We are keen to encourage and fund more schemes like this using our Section 106 affordable housing fund, and will be reopening it for applications soon.”
The Henley District Housing Trust is a non-profit Registered Provider regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing. It has more than 70 homes in its ownership in the Henley-on-Thames area. The Trust provides rented accommodation to local households. It states that it receives approximately one application for housing per week, and has around two vacancies per year.
The council’s affordable housing grant funding programme is due to reopen at the beginning of next month. More info here – https://www.southoxon.gov.uk/south-oxfordshire-district-council/housing/affordable-housing/
*The monies given towards this project are from Section 106 (S106) affordable housing sums taken from contributions from developers across the South Oxfordshire district.
** As of August 2021