The Housing strategy team is concerned with looking at the housing needs across the area both now and in the future. The team uses data supplied by government, the census and from the housing register to assess these needs. Sometimes additional survey work is undertaken and local plans are carried out by parish councils from time to time.
The information is used closely with planning to see where housing of all types and tenures will be built. One of the biggest problems faced is finding suitable sites on which to build. Given the rural nature of the area, some small edge of village settlements are always needed to sustain our villages and save young people having to move away. Let us know if you are aware of any small pieces of land near villages that might be suitable.
Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury councils have produced a joint housing strategy that sets out what we, together with our partners will be doing between 2015 to 2018 to improve the housing situation for our current and future residents.
The actions within the strategy will directly contribute to the overall sense of community and wellbeing of West Suffolk. Considerations include enabling the supply of new housing; making the best use of existing housing; and offering support or specialist housing to those who need it.
You can view our policy:
Other housing strategies and plans include:
- Discharge of homelessness duty into the private rented sector
- Empty homes strategy
- Joint affordable housing supplementary planning document (SPD)
- Home-Link lettings policy, Forest Heath
- Home-Link lettings policy, St Edmundsbury
- West Suffolk homelessness strategy
Enabling is the strategy team working with a range of partners in the public and private sector who may be able to help us provide homes. The majority of these homes are likely to be built for various forms of home ownership allowing people to meet their aspirations. Others will be for rent in the social sector for those who cannot afford to buy in the open housing market.
Enabling is not only about building new properties. We also work with owners to bring empty homes back into use. We also look at converting unused or under used properties into smaller units so that we can provide more homes for people to live in.