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East Herts boasts new high in affordable homes building

More affordable homes have been built in East Herts than in any previous year.

In 2019-20, a total of 292 were constructed, according to the district council.

While opposition parties believe more could be done to help by linking affordability to wages rather than property and rental prices, Cllr Peter Boylan, EHC's executive member for housing, said: "We know that housing in East Herts can be expensive to buy or rent, so ensuring additional affordable housing is included on new developments wherever possible is a top priority for the council.

Wallfields, Hertford.Members of EHC Executive. .Cllr Peter Boylan. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (39809108)
Wallfields, Hertford.Members of EHC Executive. .Cllr Peter Boylan. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (39809108)

"To maximise the supply of new affordable housing, in May the council agreed a document detailing the affordable housing we expect developers to provide when seeking planning permission from us.

"Furthermore, we have just commissioned a study from the Housing Quality Network to advise us on all the options for ensuring the supply of a full range of affordable homes continues to grow. I'm looking forward to receiving the results later this year."

The rented and shared ownership homes were made available to households on the council's housing register and those struggling to buy a property on the open market.

The authority said providing homes suitable for people with disabilities was also a priority, with the council supporting Network Homes to build two fully wheelchair-adapted dwellings in Ware and converting three self-contained flats at its homelessness hostel.

The council has tried to drive up standards in private rented homes. In 2019-20, 33 HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) were inspected by the council resulting in improvements including better fire alarm systems, fire doors and safe escape routes and making sure the properties have sufficient living, bathroom and kitchen space.

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