Affordable Housing

31 Mar 2017

What is Affordable Housing?


Affordable housing is social rented housing provided to citizens who meet certain income or situation based criteria. Commonly, affordable housing is provided to those whose needs are not met by the market, or are unable to afford housing on the private market. Local authorities let out Affordable housing to those within a particular income bracket. Essentially, renting becomes affordable for citizens through renting controls that mean that affordable housing can cost no more than 80 percent of rent on the local market.

Affordable housing has been the main strategy through which the UK has addressed the housing crisis and as a way to assist those who are priced out of the current property market. In 2014, just over 40,000 affordable homes were built in the UK. Unfortunately, demand for affordable housing often exceeds to supply.


Who Qualifies for Affordable Housing? 


In order to qualify for Affordable Housing you’ll generally need to be within a specified income threshold to access whether you are in need of affordable housing. The income threshold can change based on the area you live in and local housing prices. The Homes and Communities Agency is in charge of regulating affordable housing. In response to the high demand for affordable housing in the UK, in recent years councils have begun to demand that citizens provide proof that they have had a local connection for at least 5 years.


What is the difference between Affordable and Social Housing? 


The main difference between Affordable housing and Social housing is social housing is owned by local authorities (Although certain registered providers can also be involved). Social housing is let out for lower rents to those who meet additional criteria, so that those who are most in need will be accommodated. Generally, those who are prioritized the most for social housing are legally classified as homeless, those with medical conditions and those in unclean or overcrowded housing.

Social housing is renting out at a low rate on a secure basis for those who need it the most. Generally councils and charity organizations provide social housing in the UK. The distinction between affordable and social housing is that social housing is accessible to those least able to fund themselves and affordable housing is simply applied to those within an income threshold.