Affordable housing is for people who do not have enough income to rent or buy at local market prices.

Dorset is one of the most expensive places in Britain to rent or buy a home. Local people struggle to afford to live in the area as housing costs continue to rise.

We need new affordable homes to help create stable, healthy and vibrant communities for local people.

Affordable homes are built to comply with the National Planning Policy Framework.

Applying for affordable homes

There are different types of affordable homes and ways of applying for them.

Rented homes

There are two types of affordable homes for rent:

  • social rented homes, which have lower rent set by Government regulations
  • affordable rent homes, which means rent is no more than 80% of the market value

You can search and apply for social rented and affordable rent homes through the Homechoice housing register.

Shared ownership homes

Shared ownerships are part buy/part rent homes.

Find out more about shared ownership and how to apply on GOV.UK.

Find an organisation that sells shared ownership homes on GOV.UK.

The housing associations that offer shared ownership homes in Dorset are:

Contact them to find out more.

New build homes

First Homes helps local first-time buyers and key workers onto the property ladder. It offers new homes at a discount of 30% compared to the market price. The discount applies to the home forever, so every time it sells, the new buyer and local community benefit.

First Homes will be offered on some plots in most new developments. Speak to the builder or developer to check if they are including First Homes as part of the development.

Building more affordable housing

We plan and deliver affordable housing schemes for homes to rent or buy.

We work in partnership with:

  • local communities
  • developers
  • housing associations
  • planners
  • local and central government
  • Homes England

Finding sites for new affordable homes can be very challenging because:

  • Dorset is one of the most environmentally important and protected areas in the country
  • 56% of the county is covered by two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) designations
  • our ‘Jurassic Coast’ is England's only natural UNESCO World Heritage site
  • residential development is not allowed within 400m around our protected heathland

All of this restricts sites for development.

Community Land Trusts

Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are not-for-profit organisations that build affordable homes for local people within their communities. They are best at delivering affordable homes because they know the need in their local community.

They can also provide ‘assets and services of local benefit’. This can include community shops, workspaces and other services for long-term community benefit.

Affordable rural housing helps communities to grow and evolve. It can prevent people from leaving their village or town. This means more people for village shops and more children in local schools.

We are a leader in the work to establish CLTs across England.

The CLTs already working with us are:

Contact us

You can get help if you are worried about homelessness or need housing advice.

To find out more about affordable housing developments or how we can support bringing new affordable housing schemes forward, get in touch with our Housing Enabling Team.