Despite pandemic, Dorset Council meets its affordable housing target

Over the last year, Dorset Council says that 301 new-build affordable homes were constructed with many of them in Swanage and Wareham, fulfilling its target of 300.

Although building work was disrupted and materials were often in short supply due to Covid regulations and lockdowns over the last 12 months, many schemes still progressed.

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Affordable housing sign at Compass Point development
Affordable housing at Compass Point in Swanage

Compass Point in Swanage includes new-build affordable homes

Compass Point development will provide 45 affordable homes

This included the Compass Point development off Northbrook Road in Swanage, which will provide 45 affordable homes. Construction is well underway and is expected to be completed by summer 2021.

Housing association, Aster is managing the affordable rented and shared ownership homes, while the low cost home ownership properties have been sold by the developer, Barratt Homes.

In Wareham, 17 relocatable modular units for vulnerable people have been installed at Red Oak Court. Four of the units provide temporary accommodation for the homeless, with two of them adapted for people with disabilities.

Affordable housing in Wareham
Dorset Council

Modular units for vulnerable people at Red Oak Court in Wareham

“House prices are often almost ten times the average salary”

Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, Dorset Council portfolio holder for housing and community safety said:

“This is an impressive achievement in what has been a very difficult year for everyone. With many people furloughed during the pandemic, this result shows that by working together, we can still achieve our goals of providing genuine affordable housing.

“Dorset is a beautiful county, but house prices are often almost ten times the average salary, meaning many people here can’t afford to buy their own home.

“By continuing to work with our partners to provide the right types of homes, for example shared ownership properties, at a price people can afford, this is a great result for the residents of Dorset who need these houses, and for whom Dorset should be a great place to live.”

Creating a new housing strategy

Dorset Council says it is now working at creating a new housing strategy which will identify where there are gaps or mismatches in the type of housing or housing related services across the area.

There are currently more than 6,000 households on the housing register and more than 300 households in temporary accommodation.

While Dorset Council admits there is still a lot of work to do, it claims the current pipeline of development is delivering well with excellent work from housing associations such as Magna, Sovereign and Aster.

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