7. Occupancy

(2)7.1 The occupation of affordable housing will be limited to people in housing need and shall be available in perpetuity in order to assist future eligible households as specified in Policy 45: Affordable housing and dwelling mix. Where the provision of affordable housing is to be owned and retained by a registered provider, this is taken to be an adequate safeguard that provision will be of long-term benefit and that arrangements exist for the benefit to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision if the original affordable housing is lost for any reason e.g. through the Right to Acquire or Right to Buy schemes. Where the affordable housing is to be owned and retained (as opposed to managed), by a body other than a registered provider, equivalent safeguards concerning its long-term nature and the recycling of benefit will need to secured by legal agreement.

7.2 In managing the initial occupancy of affordable housing in larger developments, the council will consider the use and application of local lettings policies. These aim to assist the creation of balanced and mixed communities both from the start and over the longer term. Existing practice already aims to avoid an initial peak in child numbers in such developments, which can lead to difficulties for school planning and provision.

(1)7.3 Co-operatively managed housing is an acceptable form of affordable housing provision, and can be used to deliver housing for both the social rented sector and the intermediate market. The housing may take a number of forms, including tenant managed schemes, ownership housing co-operatives, co-housing schemes (privately-funded developments organised on cooperative lines), and mutual home ownership developments.”

7.4 The key points of co-operative schemes are that they are:

  • run by its members, i.e. tenants;
  • help to create sustainable, mixed communities;
  • are flexible of tenure (i.e. members can move from one tenure (e.g. rented) to another, and vice-versa;
  • intermediate in the sense of allowing members to take an equity investment, depending on income, in the mutual society that owns their homes, not in a property per-se;
  • land may be separated from the property e.g. via a Community Land Trust designed to be held in perpetuity to eliminate transfer to the open market.
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