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Changes needed to create affordable homes

07 August 2013

​The Housing Minister, Deputy Andrew Green, says changes to the Island Plan are needed in order to meet the demands for affordable housing in Jersey now and into the future.
The Minister for Planning and Environment, Deputy Rob Duhamel, announced last week that he is proposing changes to the Island Plan which include rezoning land, including a small number of glass house sites, for affordable housing along with a review of the contribution of States-owned land to meet housing needs.
Deputy Green said “Changes to the economic climate have continued to affect the housing market. The demand for affordable homes is increasing each month, which means people are waiting longer for appropriate accommodation. I’m confident that the significant policy changes proposed by the Minister for Planning and Environment will, alongside other initiatives such as our Deferred Payment and Deposit Loan Schemes, help to deliver affordable homes targeted to those who need them most.”
The Affordable Housing Gateway has just published its monthly waiting list report for July and it shows that there are currently a total of 1,340 people in need of various types of social housing. However, this figure does not take into account the unmet demand for other groups such as key workers. It is also important to recognise the growing need for over-55s and life-long homes to meet the needs of an ageing population and that certain groups, such as single people and childless couples under 50 do not presently qualify for social rented housing. More sites may therefore be required over time to meet the needs of these groups.
Deputy Green said “The Gateway is now giving us very reliable data on the housing requirements of our community but I am concerned that certain groups are still excluded. We will need to deal with that in time through the development of a long-term housing strategy, work which the new Strategic Housing Unit has underway. One of the key areas that will need to be considered is how we take care of the housing needs of essential key workers, particularly those that support our Health Service.”
The Housing Department is focussing its efforts on its new build and refurbishment Programme to refurbish existing stock and where possible developing new properties.
Refurbishment projects are almost complete at Pomme D’or Farm and Jardin Des Carreaux and the works to La Collette high-rise are well underway. These sites will see the improvement of 191 homes for residents and ensure that they are brought in line with Decent Homes Standards.
In addition, sites such as Le Squez Phase 2c, Journeaux Court and Langtry Gardens will see the development of 113 newly constructed homes.
The Housing Minister is keen to continue this momentum. Work at Belle Vue Phase 1, Le Coin, Le Squez Phase 3 and Osborne Court are all currently in the planning or procurement stages. These sites will deliver 195 new units and see the refurbishment of 23 existing housing units.
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