Dorset’s affordable housing boom: record affordable homes built in 2022

New build houses in the UK

Record numbers of affordable homes were created in Dorset during the last financial year, addressing the substantial demand for affordable housing in the county. With the collaboration of Registered Provider Housing Associations, a total of 664 new affordable homes were constructed or acquired by the council in the year to March 2023.

This figure marks a significant increase from previous years, with 135 additional houses and flats compared to the 529 created in the year to March 2022. Just two years ago, in the year to March 2021, a mere 301 new affordable homes were built.

Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, the lead member for Housing, expressed satisfaction with the progress made, although he recognised the growing demand in light of rising rents and costs.

Rents and costs have risen steeply in the past year, which is why it is so vital that we continue to provide the right kind of affordable housing in the right place and at the right time. Affordable housing makes such a difference to so many people’s lives.

Our Council team and Housing Associations are doing a brilliant job in getting so many homes built during these difficult times. They are continuing to look for new sites across Dorset to meet increasing demands.

The additional homes enable the council to respond to pressures relating to homelessness, as well as providing support for people on the housing register list.

Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, lead member for Housing

Most of these affordable homes receive financial support from Homes England and are built by Housing Associations like Magna, Abri, Sovereign, Aster, East Boro, Stonewater, and Hastoe.

The council has also used grants and capital resources to renovate and utilise empty properties, one example being a grade two listed building on West Street, Blandford Forum, which recently won a national innovation award.

Community groups have also made significant contributions. They have formed Community Land Trusts to work with registered providers and provide affordable homes for local residents in villages, such as Drimpton, near Beaminster.

This considerable growth in affordable housing reflects Dorset’s commitment to meeting its residents’ housing needs and will likely play a substantial role in shaping the region’s socio-economic landscape in the coming years.

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