Cherwell reaffirms affordable housing commitment

People’s choice of housing and access to affordable homes will increase as a new council housing strategy is brought into force.

Published: Thursday, 7th March 2019

On Monday, 4 March, Cherwell District Council’s executive approved the Housing Strategy 2019-2024. This document will shape housing delivery in north Oxfordshire for the next five years with a particular emphasis on providing for people living with disabilities, older people, young people, vulnerable families and those on low incomes.

The accompanying action plan establishes commitments such as the delivery of 407 new affordable homes, including homes for social rent. It also commits the council to reducing fuel poverty, increasing the supply of housing for key workers and meeting target numbers of disabled facility grants and home adaptations.

Cllr John Donaldson, lead member for housing, said: “A safe and secure home is something we all have a right to; it’s the foundation for family, relationships, work and play and participating in the wider community.

“We are a diverse population and our housing needs change as we move through life. This document underscores our commitment to doing more to give people suitable and affordable homes where they and their families can thrive.

“We do have a strong record of delivering affordable housing and of providing innovative housing solutions. But it’s important that we listen to our residents, evaluate their needs, and strive to do more.

“It’s an ambitious set of aspirations, underscored by an annual action plan that we will refresh every year.”

The Strategy captures intelligence gathered through key projects such as the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal, Bicester Healthy New Town and the council’s Build! affordable housing programme, and supports their delivery.

It was put out to consultation at the end of 2018 and the council captured feedback from a broad cross section of residents, housing providers and other partner organisations.

Other targets in the action plan include assessing vulnerable households for energy efficiency issues, promoting energy efficiency grants and identifying potential community-led co-housing schemes.