Housing Strategy 2017-20 and Action Plan 2017-18

Our Housing Strategy provides a summary on the significant impact that legislative changes relevant to the housing sector and welfare reform could have on the provision of housing in Huntingdonshire. It also sets out the housing issues in the district, including:

  • the need for housing growth

  • the high level of need for new, affordable housing

  • the increase in homelessness and

  • the ageing population.

However, the strategy is not just about new housing. It also highlights the importance of allowing people to remain living in their existing homes by, for example, providing adaptations, fixing hazards and reducing the number of residents in fuel poverty.

Homelessness Strategy

Councils are required to produce a strategy to:

  • address the causes of homelessness in the area

  • introduce initiatives to prevent homelessness wherever possible

  • provide sufficient temporary accommodation for those households that are or may become homeless

  • ensure that appropriate support is available for people who have previously experienced homelessness in order to prevent it happening again.

We are currently preparing an updated Homelessness Strategy which will be available during 2017/18.

Lettings Policy

Our Lettings Policy sets out who is eligible to register for an affordable, rented home, how we prioritise applications and how we make other necessary decisions.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment

Assessing housing need is important to help inform the council’s Housing and Planning Strategies. Through examining issues like population changes and housing affordability and supply, we can draw conclusions about how much new housing is needed, in which locations and of what type and tenure.

In April 2017 Cambridgeshire County Council Research Group prepared a report to support us in objectively assessing and evidencing development needs for housing, both market and affordable. The report provides an updated objectively assessed need for housing in Huntingdonshire for the period 2011 to 2036. It builds on the existing Strategic Housing Market Assessment (2013) evidence base but also uses other updated evidence, such as national forecasts and projections.

Cambridge Sub-Region Housing Board (CRHB)

Eight district councils make up the Cambridge sub-region:

  • Cambridge City Council

  • East Cambridgeshire District Council

  • Fenland District Council

  • Forest Heath District Council

  • Huntingdonshire District Council

  • Peterborough City Council

  • South Cambridgeshire District Council

  • St Edmundsbury District Council

We work together to help address the housing needs of the area. The Cambridge Sub-Regional Housing Board (CRHB) works in partnership to share learning and experience across our housing markets. Relevant publications and information can be found on the Cambridgeshire Insight website.

Examples of joint projects include the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), the Home-Link choice-based lettings process for the allocation of affordable housing and the review of disabled facilities grants.

House Condition Survey

We periodically conduct Private Sector House Condition Surveys in order to form a detailed picture of the condition of owner-occupied and privately rented housing. The survey provides good statistical information and useful evidence for strategies and investment decisions.

The information also helps us to meet our obligations in relation to current housing legislation:

Our last survey, in 2010, sampled 1,021 private (not housing association) dwellings. 

Tenancy Strategy

The Localism Act of 2012 requires each local authority to produce a Tenancy Strategy setting out the matters which housing associations have to consider when deciding: 

  • the kinds of tenancies they grant

  • the circumstances in which they will grant any tenancy type

  • the lengths of tenancies and

  • the circumstances in which they will grant a further tenancy when an existing tenancy ends.