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Affordable housing includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing (both to rent and buy), provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the open market. Eligibility is determined by local income and house prices.

Different households can have different housing needs and circumstances vary. Affordable housing schemes are therefore designed to offer a range of choices. The main types of affordable housing are explained below:

Social rented housing is owned by councils and private registered providers.  These homes are offered at the lowest rents which are set by government (called target rents) through the national rent regime. 

Affordable rented housing is let by councils or private registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80 per cent of the local market rent (including service charges, where applicable).

Intermediate housing is homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above social rent but below market levels. These can include shared equity (shared ownership and equity loans), other low cost homes for sale and rent intermediate rent but not affordable rented housing.

Homes that do not meet the above definition of affordable housing, such as 'low cost  market' housing, may not be considered as affordable planning for planning purposes.

The local planning authority uses planning conditions and legal agreements (known as section 106 agreements) to make sure the affordable housing remains at an affordable price for future eligible households. In some cases, homes can be bought and sold at full market value but only if the subsidy is recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.

To qualify to rent affordable housing from the council or housing associations you must register with Devon Home Choice.

For more detailed information and to apply for an affordable home to buy, please contact Help to Buy South West who provide a one stop affordable home ownership service.  Alternatively you can telephone them on 0300 100 0021.