Policy Housing Strategy 2020 - 2024

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2. The context

The Housing Situation

East Devon District Council has a role within the local housing market as

  • a landlord  of over 4200 properties
  • a regulator of standards within the private rented and owner occupier sectors
  • the planning authority with a duty to bring forward more homes including more affordable homes
  • the provider of a housing options service to help those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness

Key conditions within the housing market influence standards and provision

  • house prices are high (the average house price for the district being £270,982) and continuing to rise
  • annual earnings are low (£23,171)
  • within the South West as a whole households would need an annual pay rise of more than £30,000 to afford an average home
  • private rents are also high (average monthly private sector rents almost £700)
  • there are insufficient new homes being built
  • there are a high number of second homes in the district

Housing need

Figures from Devon Home Choice (as at March 2021) show:

  • 2618 households registered as being in need of housing
  • Highest demand is for 1 bed properties (1521) with 530 seeking 2 bedroom accommodation
  • The number of households in housing need has increased by 27% in two years

In the last financial year 2020-21, 352 homes were let through Devon Home Choice, with 171 of these being EDDC Council homes.

We also have 387 empty homes across the district (2018 figures).

Since the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act in 2018 the number of approaches to our homelessness service has increased substantially:

  • 2017-18 – 261 Approaches
  • 2018-19 – 871 approaches
  • 2019-20 – 1126 approaches