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Affordable Housing

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he will take to ensure that the definition of affordable housing used by his Department and local authorities reflects local pay levels rather than local housing market values. [109579]

For the purposes of securing affordable housing through the planning system, affordable housing encompasses low-cost market and subsidised housing (irrespective of tenure, ownership—whether exclusive or shared—or financial arrangements) that will be available to people who cannot afford to rent or buy houses generally available on the open market. Local authorities are expected to define through their local plans what they consider to be affordable. Circular 6/98, "Planning and Affordable Housing", advises that definitions should be framed through references to the level of local incomes and their relationship to house prices or rents, rather than to a particular price or rent.