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Housing: Low Incomes

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 15 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has issued on the definition of affordable housing to be used by planning authorities when considering planning applications for mixed housing. (164900)

A new definition of affordable housing appears in Planning Policy Statement 3—Housing which was published in November 2006. The definition states that:

“Affordable housing includes social rented and intermediate housing, provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Affordable housing should:

Meet the needs of eligible households including availability at a cost low enough for them to afford, determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices.

Include provision for the home to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or, if these restrictions are lifted, for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative housing provision.”

Local planning authorities are required to use this definition when preparing plan policies and determining planning applications for housing.

Further guidance is included in the accompanying document “Delivering Affordable Housing”. It is for local planning authorities to use these documents to inform decisions on individual cases with reference to local needs.