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Insurance Companies could fund our Affordable Housing in Dartmouth

Of the 405 homes approved by the government for the West Dart housing development 66% were to be designated “affordable” under the original Local Development Framework, but after funding from the Housing Corporation was abolished by the government, this was reduced to 55% under a modified LDF. This would mean that 267 affordable homes would be built for the whole scheme and 138 under the Phase 1 scheme recently exhibited by Millwood and Bloor Homes ( There will be no Phase 2 unless South Hams Council compulsory purchase Milton Farm)
A national competition 10 years ago resulted in 6 major developers showing that with the use of land trusts and factory build technology, 2 bedroomed homes could be built for £60,000. In Dartmouth’s low wage economy it is evident that using 95% government backed mortgages and shared ownership, the very maximum that can be afforded by young families is £180,000 and in most cases less than this. And social rents for non buyers must reflect this level of affordability too.
Using a simple calculation, £25m will be needed to build the affordable houses in a Phase 1 development and £48m for the whole scheme, and since the abolition of the housing corporation, the problem is where to get this funding in order tomaximise the affordable homes that are built.
Millwood Homes say it will come from the profits of the sale of the luxury open market homes in the scheme, but we know this ruse was used at Sherford and the affordability index there fell to 20%, which is totally unacceptable in Dartmouth.
We know that some Section 106 monies can be leveraged from Millwood as part of their scheme, and also from the Noss shipyard development if that ever gets the go ahead.
But the cost of the total affordable and social rented homes we need requires much more funding than this and the District Council has been urged to find a Housing Association partner who will raise funds from the High Street banks. In addition the insurance company Legal and General with its vast capital resources has now announced that it intends to invest in affordable housing for retired people, and South Hams Council can access this funding too.

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