Bristol set for 15,000 new homes to combat housing shortage

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Earlier this year, Bristol City Council committed £57m to an Affordable Housing Fund giving grants to housing associations to build new homes for affordable rent. Housing association Liverty says they now have the capacity to develop at least 15,000 new homes in the South West over the next 10 years

With house prices and rent rising substantially year after year, the challenge is to overcome the housing shortage by building more affordable homes for people and families in Bristol.

Currently, the average house price in Bristol is £290,197, and across the region house prices have risen by almost £14,000 in the last year.

This means, the average family would need a household income of at least £61,700 to afford a mortgage.

Those who cannot afford to buy must turn to the rental market but even then the cost of renting in the city is very high. The average cost of renting a property is £1,025 per month, consuming around 36% of local incomes and pushing many families into rent poverty.

Housing association Liverty plan to work in partnership with the council and local developers to create new homes in the city which will alleviate the affordable housing shortage in Bristol.

Liverty is the new trading name of Knightstone housing association who merged with Devon and Cornwall housing association (DCH), their new brand launched on 19 March this year.

In a recent report published by the National Housing Federation (NHF) entitled ‘Home Truths 2017/18, the housing market in the South West’ it concluded the region is not building enough homes. Between 2012 and 2016 there was a shortfall of over 21,000 houses across the South West.

It refers to the ambitions of housing associations to deliver 120,000 homes a year by 2033.

The report said: ‘Housing associations in the South West built over 4,200 homes in 2016-2017, and started a further 4,100. We are exploring innovative means to solve the housing crisis, including, through modern methods of construction.’

Liverty is not alone in attempting to address the housing shortage in Bristol. Other schemes and projects are appearing around the city including, the creation of 161 homes in Southmead.

The innovative project is being heralded as ‘a turning point for housing in Britain’ with it being the first time a housing association, community investment company and private investor have come together in a single housing scheme.

It will introduce highly-sustainable and affordable homes with a mixture of six different types of tenure and the UK’s first private sector rent-to-buy model.

Incentives are also being given by the council, who are trying to encourage developers to make a fifth of their homes available for affordable rent by offering to fast-track their planning applications if they meet the criteria.

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