Government funding has been awarded to progress an important piece of work aiming to help tackle the deepening housing affordability crisis in Hertsmere in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, Hertsmere households must earn at least £67,000 to afford to buy a property and £34,400 to rent privately.
However, the lower quartile income level for Hertsmere’s population is £25,300, according to the most recent local housing need assessment (1).
In a bid to address this growing disparity, an Affordable Housing and Tenancy Policy from the council will set out how housing delivery can better meet local needs.
Expert support, funded through a £20,000 grant from the Local Government Association’s Housing Advisers Programme, has been secured to help progress this policy.
Councillor Jean Heywood, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “We currently have more than 500 households on our housing register, all eligible for lower-cost housing, but the supply simply doesn’t meet the demand.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic is only going to exacerbate the problem – more and more people are finding themselves out of work, which could impact on their ability to privately rent. They may need support from us to help find somewhere to live.
“Our new Affordable Housing and Tenancy Policy will help strengthen our position when negotiating housing on new developments and help improve transparency with registered providers and developers.”
A draft of the policy will be available for public consultation later this year.