Faversham Housing Needs Assessment

The Faversham Community Land Trust commissioned[1] arc4 to undertake a Housing Needs Survey fto determine local housing need and to inform the Swale Local Plan and the Faversham Neighbourhood Plan. Anecdotally we had heard of people born in Faversham sofa surfing and people delaying having children into their forties, living apart and back with their parents while; they saved a deposit. We needed hard evidence to persuade Swale to allocate more housing land to meet the needs of local people. The entry-level key workers we need for our health service, schools, the fire service, and policing, are unable to afford accommodation in the town.

The survey identified 211 people currently sofa surfing in Faversham and many Faversham people wanting to find accommodation to raise their family.

Over the next five years, 1,881 really affordable housing units are needed, 376 every year. The need is mostly for 1 and 2 bedroom units.

The arc4 report provides evidence that more housing units are needed for people who are already living in Faversham but are in housing need. Their needs for health, social care and education are already being met. The FCLT wants to enable Faversham to maintain the large extended families which make it a great place to live and which provide child support and social care in our community. People being forced to delay having children into their forties in order first to secure a house is undesirable.

 This is a summary of the key findings.

arc4 concluded that

·                    Faversham needs a significant additional supply of affordable housing to meet the requirements of its existing households and households that are likely to form over the next 5-years for current Faversham residents.

·                    Entry-level market housing in Faversham is not affordable for many households. Average house prices in Faversham are higher than the average prices in the rest of Swale. In particular, junior key worker households would struggle to become homeowners because of local prices. Only households with more than one income or with significant savings would be able to afford entry-level prices or market rents. Families that need to upsize also face difficulty as the cost of buying a house with an additional bedroom would require a larger mortgage than most families can afford. . 

·                    There is an undersupply of 1 and 2-bedroom flats and bungalows for older people and younger households that have delayed having children.

·                    Few 4-bedroom homes come onto the market in Faversham and Faversham people leave the town to find them. Because of the high price of four-bedroom houses they are snapped up by incomers.

 

Working Families
Any low-income household eligible for housing benefit would be unlikely to have enough benefit to secure a house with more than one bedroom. House prices at the lower end of the market are higher than elsewhere in Swale. 

On a like for like basis, a household would have to find an additional £6,557 p.a. income for a lower-priced purchase to service the mortgage for a purchase in the town, compared to elsewhere in Swale.

Ageing Population
The number of people over 65 living in Faversham is expected to grow by 47.7% by 2043

Housing Stock
Faversham has a larger stock of terraced 2&3 bedroomed houses than elsewhere in Swale. Think of St John’s Rd, St Mary’s Rd and Park Rd, but, they are more expensive than elsewhere in Swale.

What do residents think about what kind of housing is needed??
% of all respondents saying that it is a High Priority

Small family homes – 2/3 bedrooms                         70%

Small homes for single people/couples                                 52%

Smaller homes to enable older people to downsize 43%

What are Faversham residents’ priorities?

 Q9. Priority that should be given to household types in the future?

 

 

High Priority %

First time buyers

79.4

Private rent affordable to average incomes

32.6

Social rent affordable to low income households

60.8

Housing suited to frail elderly or disabled people

52.2

People seeking shared ownership (part buy/part rent)

25.3

First Home scheme

57.7

Discounted sale

43.0



[1] Grant from Swale Borough Council, Swale Housing was consulted on the HNA survey.

The Steering Group welcomes your comments, please use this link to enter them here

https://ideaboardz.com/for/FTC%20Housing%20Needs/3433701

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