Taking steps to secure affordable homes for Watford

Watford will benefit from more affordable homes.

Published: Friday, 17th November 2017
Street houses

Watford will benefit from more of the affordable homes residents need following a recent decision taken by the Mayor and Cabinet.  

The decision gives the council greater say when working with developers to ensure there is the right type and size of affordable homes being built across the borough. Previously, the council would expect 35 per cent affordable housing on schemes with 10 or more new homes. However this often meant that developers were only offering only very small flats when larger family housing is actually required.  

By accepting a ‘commuted’ sum, the council will be able to fund developments that will provide the right type and size of affordable homes for Watford families.

Councillor Peter Taylor, Deputy Mayor said: “For the majority of housing schemes we will still be pushing developers hard to deliver what we expect in terms of affordable housing.  But we know that, in some cases, this simply won’t give us the sort of homes needed to take a family out of temporary accommodation and give them a more permanent roof over their heads.

“Handing us 35 per cent of a development of studio or one bedroom flats doesn’t help the housing crisis in Watford whereas money we can use to build family homes is a real boost.”

In the past, it was difficult for the council to spend commuted sum payments but the recent creation of Hart Homes (a joint venture between the council and Watford Community Housing) means there is an effective way of using the money to build the housing the town needs, particularly larger, family homes in a timely way in suitable schemes.

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