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Action taken to help deliver affordable housing

A new housing delivery strategy and action plan to help bring more genuinely affordable homes to the Vale of White Horse has been approved by Cabinet Members.

The new housing delivery strategy aims to meet current and future local housing needs and intends to bring more well-designed net zero carbon housing to help tackle climate change.

Vale of White Horse District Council already supports new affordable homes in the district – Crofts Court development in Cumnor is currently being built by the Oxfordshire Community Land Trust and, once complete, will have five one-bedroom and three two-bedroom flats. Furthermore, 80 new extra care homes on Great Western Park in Didcot are almost complete to help people to live independently and have access to extra support on site.

The council aims to encourage developers to reduce the carbon impact by using sustainable materials, where possible, to help build affordable homes on some new developments. Recently 25 new net-zero homes were built in Kingston Bagpuize by Ssassy Property and Greencore Construction. The new homes are built in a way that means they do not produce any additional greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Cllr Judy Roberts, Cabinet Member for Development and Infrastructure at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “We know that our district is an expensive area to live in and, for some, buying or renting a suitable property is financially out of reach.  This strategy should help to encourage community led initiatives and housing providers to build more energy efficient properties that are truly affordable for our residents.”

The council will continue to invite bids from housing providers to apply for affordable housing grants to help make new developments financially viable. Some funds will come from Section 106 funding, money collected by developers as part of their permission to build in the district.

The action plan also includes projects that could see a reduction of empty homes in the district and support for housing providers and residents apply for funding and grants to help retrofit their homes to maximise energy efficiency.