Our engagement with people in Ivybridge has demonstrated there is a need, and current ‘affordable’ housing is not fit-for-purpose.
We know there is a large amount of 'so called', affordable housing allocated in the Ivybridge and Ugborough parishes already. But we would argue that the housing currently being built is not fit-for-purpose. Typically, house builders produce homes connected to the gas network that do not meet the 2050 energy efficiency standard and will need to be retrofitted in several years at great cost to homeowners. There is not an adequate political response to our Climate Emergency, we all need to act now.
The HEMs development will provide affordable, healthy housing, energy and transport and will continue to be available and affordable for rent only for the foreseeable future. It is a legacy project. This is what people in Ivybridge have told us we need, in our earlier engagements. The offering from the housebuilders is substandard and does NOT meet our needs as a community.
We know from our experience of delivering energy advice to vulnerable householders that many people living in newly constructed houses are still in fuel poverty, with very high energy costs. We believe it is time to update the definition of affordability. It should be addressing the lifetime cost of the property and not just the selling price.
A full Housing Needs report is underway and will be submitted with the planning application later this year.