South Glos delivered the most social rented homes in England for 5 years running

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An image of a model of a house held up against the sun

It was another bumper year for social housing in South Gloucestershire, with 538 new social rented homes delivered in 2022/23, almost double the numbers of the second highest performing area. Being the top for new social rented homes is not new for the district, it has held this record for five years in a row.

Affordable housing comes in many forms, with homes available for social renting being our highest priority, as well as shared ownership model, which is an important part of the housing jigsaw to enable people to buy a home. They provide people with access to stable accommodation if they are on lower incomes or if local housing market prices are too high for some to afford.

South Gloucestershire has delivered well on affordable housing of all tenures, including through affordable home ownership schemes, such as shared ownership. South Gloucestershire delivered the tenth most affordable new homes in England overall, with 735, in 2022/23.

With demand for affordable housing high in South Gloucestershire and in many areas nationwide, the fact that more homes of this type have now been delivered in the district than anywhere else for five straight years, is important for many local people. Affordable homes have been built on a range of development sites, including over 500 homes at Lyde Green, Ladden Gardens in Yate, Blackberry Park in Coalpit Heath and smaller rural locations with homes in Hawkesbury Upton and Tytherington.

When homes that meet people’s needs are affordable, it allows residents to put down sustainable roots and have buy-in to the community they live in and call home.

While South Gloucestershire does not own any council houses, it works closely with a range of housing associations through the Homes West partnership and other providers to ensure that where development occurs, there are a variety of housing types available, to suit different households and people on different incomes.

South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for affordable housing, Councillor John O’Neill, said: “Having a safe, secure and affordable home is the absolute bedrock upon which people build their lives. Too many people do not have access to housing that meets their needs, which is why it is so important and encouraging that we do something about it in South Gloucestershire.

“We are committed to tackling the inequalities that hold too many people back and that can prevent them from enjoying all of the benefits of living in the area. Playing our part in making sure local people can live where they want and need to is central to our role as a local authority.

“As positive as these figures are, we know we need to do more. Through our new Local Plan, we want to increase the proportion of affordable homes that developers deliver. We also want to make sure that more of the overall number of new homes we need to provide are genuinely affordable to live in, as well as being greener and more efficient.”

Over the new Local Plan period up to 2040 the council has the ambition to deliver a further 6,709 Affordable Homes.