MANY of the new housing developments in the town are failing to meet the quota for the expected number of affordable homes.
A study by the BBC revealed that of the 29 housing projects requiring affordable homes, only 11 of them were able to meet the council’s target number for properties that are affordable to the average household.
There are concerns this could lead to people struggling to get on the housing market, a problem compounded with the predicted increase in rents.
Any development of more than 15 homes is required to include a portion of affordable homes which has been set at a rate of 30 per cent in Swindon. Up until 2008 this was not a problem and routinely achieved.
But following the economic downturn this became increasingly difficult for major developers to reach this target.
Council leader David Renard (Con, Haydon Wick) said: “Increasingly we are finding developers come forward to say that they can build a housing development but not with the number of affordable homes.
“This presents us with a dilemma. We have to consider whether we let the development go ahead and increase the number of houses with a few affordable homes or whether to reject it and have nothing at all.”
With an increasing number of developers asking to avoid the target, the council is operating an Open Book policy whereby they examine the finances of a development to ensure what they say is the case.
Coun Renard said: “It is important that we check what they claim is in fact the case and make a decision from that. This is what happened with the Nova Hreod development when we accepted a 15 per cent level of affordable homes.
“Either way it does leave us with a difficult decision.”