Helen Watts is one of the residents living in a shared ownership property

The largest number of new high-quality council homes in a generation is being delivered by Dover District Council (DDC) to provide affordable housing for local people. 

In September 2020, councillors approved the delivery of a programme of new council homes across the district, with a target of 500.

Since then, 91 new homes have been completed, 38 are currently under construction and 32 have been approved, with building work due to start on site later this year. 

Twenty-six affordable rented homes in Napchester Road, Whitfield, three of which are accessible for wheelchair users, were handed over by contractors to DDC on March 29, ready for tenants to move in. 

Affordable homes

Some of the new-build properties

A further 132 new affordable homes have also been delivered in the district by housing associations. 

DDC’s commitment to delivering this ambitious programme is part of a push to provide first-rate homes at affordable and social rents for local people. 

The council is also supporting those who wish to purchase their own home, but cannot afford to buy outright, by offering shared ownership schemes through some of the newly built properties. 

Helen Watts is one of the residents living in a shared ownership property in the new Harold Street development in Dover. 

She says she feels grateful to have been given the opportunity to own her own home. 

“I was so pleased when my application for my shared ownership apartment was accepted with DDC, I felt that all my dreams had finally come true,” she said. 

“As a single person living on one wage, I didn’t have the affordability to purchase my own property outright, and having lived in private rented apartments before I never quite had the feeling of security in how long I could stay there.  

“The process was relatively smooth, although quite an anxious time due to delays with the build because of the pandemic, but I can surely say it was worth the wait. 

“I love my flat which has been designed to such a high spec. There is not a day that goes by I don’t sit in my living room feeling grateful to have my own apartment.   

“I now have the feeling of security and peace of mind. It has put me on the ladder to fully owning my own property one day.   

“I would highly recommend to anyone who cannot afford to buy outright to look into shared ownership.” 

In addition, to help people who find themselves temporarily homeless, DDC has built a range of interim accommodation, where people can live until a permanent housing solution is found. 

This helps reduce reliance on the use of temporary private accommodation, which comes at a significant cost to the council. 

Affordable homes - ElizabethCarterCourt2

DDC has used brownfield land to construct the affordable developments, both in towns and rural areas of the district. 

The provision of new council homes is a key element in helping end the housing crisis, tackle homelessness and provide aspiring homeowners with a step onto the property ladder. 

Rachel Collins, Strategic Housing Manager at DDC, said: “These new affordable housing developments are something to be celebrated. 

“We are helping ensure local people have access to more high-quality council homes and practical housing solutions should they find themselves temporarily homeless. 

“We also want to make sure people who want to buy their own homes have the opportunity to do so, and we have therefore included shared ownership among our range of tenures of the affordable properties we are building. 

“DDC is making a valuable contribution to meeting the wide range of housing needs of the district’s residents and there’s still more to come.” 

To help the council to understand people’s housing situations, a district-wide housing needs survey has been launched. 

All residents are being asked to complete the survey by April 18, whatever their current housing situation. 

The results will help DDC understand what type of affordable housing is needed now and in the future. It will also help inform policy decisions to secure financing for affordable housing projects. 

To complete the survey go to www.dover.gov.uk/Housing/Housing-Development/District-Housing-Needs-Survey-2023.aspx  

The affordable housing projects by DDC include: 

Development Number of units Type of housing Completion date 
Bomford Place, Dover  24  Social rent  2021 
Harold Street, Dover  29 Shared ownership 2021 
Ottaway House, Dover 8  Interim accommodation 2021 
Jute Fields, Deal 6  Affordable rent & shared ownership 2022 
Elizabeth Carter Court, Deal 8  Interim accommodation  2022 
Walter Hammond Close, Dover 16  Interim accommodation 2023 
Napchester Road, Dover 26  Affordable rent, inc 3 accessible  Due to complete March 29, 2023 
Poulton Close, Dover  24 Interim accommodation  Planning permission granted. 
Foxborough Close, Woodnesborough Affordable rent Due to complete spring/summer 2023 
Mongeham Rd, Great Mongeham 10 Affordable rent & shared ownership  Autumn 2023 
Military Road, Dover Affordable rent Approved by Cabinet. Planning application submitted. 

By Ed

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