Providing a variety of housing which is available to different household types is essential, however as Dorset is one of the most expensive places in Britain to rent or buy a home and local housing costs continue to rise, a growing number of people are finding that they cannot afford to live in the area. New affordable homes are needed for existing households and are an essential component of stable, healthy and vibrant communities; ensuring these homes are available in perpetuity ensures that future households maintain the balance and support the sustainability of local communities.

The Housing Enabling Team work with communities and developers to plan and deliver affordable housing schemes across West Dorset, North Dorset and Weymouth & Portland.

The Opening Doors website has all of the latest information about housebuilding in Dorset. They also have a newsletter and Home Ownership Register you can sign up for to be the first to hear about the latest housing developments in your area. 

Housing Need Surveys

Dorset Home Choice, the council’s Choice-Based Lettings System provides an indication of the number of people seeking affordable homes in the district but it does not identify households who have not registered, these make up what is referred to as a ‘hidden housing need.’ 

Housing needs surveys are carried out in order to obtain clear evidence about the need, affordability and aspirations of the parish. Surveys are a useful way to investigate the type of affordable housing that local people need, in order to establish the type and tenure of housing need at a local level. Affordable housing need surveys are conducted on-line by the Housing Enabling Team in partnership with a Parish Council or a Community Land Trust.

Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

Affordability is a key issue for many people in Dorset. The cost of open-market homes has increased due to strong demand; the shortage of housing has also been compounded by years of a shortfall in house building. Lower wages for people in this area has resulted in local people who wish to buy or rent a property being priced out of the community. The shortage of affordable homes is detrimental to the local community - affecting its social sustainability, resulting in the loss of amenities and services.

Community Land Trusts are not for profit, community-based organisations run by local people to provide assets and services of local benefit, including affordable housing, community shops, workspaces and other assets and services for long-term community benefit.

Who knows their community better than the people who live in it? Community land trusts in the Dorset Council Partnership areas have notably worked to combat the localised effects of the housing crisis. A mix of good quality housing is essential if a community is to evolve in a sustainable way. Affordable rural housing plays a large role in achieving this by providing homes for those who might otherwise be forced to leave their village or town.

Enabling people to stay in their own community can boost local businesses and services, and help keep local schools open. However, barriers to sustainable development often exist, such as inappropriate use of planning constraints by local planning authorities, the reluctance of communities to understand the need to build a mix of housing, and changes made by central Government to housing planning.

CLTs in the Dorset Councils Partnership area

If you would like to buy a shared ownership or other type of affordable low cost home You need to join the housing register or look at the Help to Buy Southwest website

If you have seen a property advertised it is likely that this is being done by a housing association so please contact them directly.

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