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What are we doing to increase affordable housing in Swale?

Published Thursday 25 November, 2021
Last updated on Monday 29 November, 2021

Councillors at this month’s council meeting listened as Swale Borough Council outlined what it’s doing to increase affordable housing across the borough

The hybrid council meeting was held in the Council Chamber on Wednesday, 10 November 2021 at 7pm.

Following a question from Cllr Steve Davey, an update was given on what the council is doing to increase affordable housing in Swale.

Cllr Ben Martin, cabinet member for housing at the council, said:

“Since this administration started in May 2019, we’ve delivered 493 new affordable homes including for those who are on the housing register, people who have identified as homeless and for first time buyers looking to get their foot on the property ladder with a shared ownership property.

“Of these homes, 220 are for affordable rent tenancies, 185 are for shared ownership, and 88 are for social rent.

“We currently have around 8,500 homes being used for social rent across the borough, and we expect this number to rise with 581 new affordable homes in the pipeline across the borough in Faversham, Sittingbourne, Halfway and the villages.

“It’s important that we offer a range of affordable housing options including for social rent, reduced rent for people on a low income, and government schemes that help people get onto the property ladder of new build properties.

“Late last year we agreed to set up a housing company that could deliver 139 new properties on council-owned land in Sittingbourne. The Rainbow Housing Company is now set up and is preparing to submit its first planning application in the new year.

Cllr Ghlin Whelan, deputy cabinet member for housing at the council, said:

“Affordable housing for local people is one of our top priorities and it’s reassuring to see a broad range of affordable homes being delivered. Especially the number of new housing for social rent with more to come.

“Although this is encouraging news, we know that with around 400 people in temporary accommodation and many more on the housing list, we still have much more to do.”

You can read the full report online.