The States will soon be asked to agree that there is a need for approximately 300 new homes each year, in both the private and affordable housing market, over the next five years.
The latest strategic housing indicator reveals that up to 844 private units and 721 social units are required to meet people’s need by 2027.
It also shows that new one- and two-bedroom private market properties will be the most necessary for islanders in that period, whilst more social rental homes are required over partial ownership.
The modelling only factored in fully constructed available housing, discounting major projects in the pipeline such as Leale’s Yard and several Guernsey Housing Association schemes.
It also did not include the requirement for key worker housing, saying a separate indicator specifically for that need will be modelled independently soon.
An assumed net migration to the island of over 300 has been baked into the forecast, reflecting the States decision to revise its population management laws late last year.
The States will also be asked to agree to monitor housing needs each year and publish the results. Any changes to the levels of housing needs will require subsequent agreement by deputies.
The SSHI relates to housing need - so it illustrates additional units that would need to be created to meet that need, taking into account what housing already exists. Planning permissions don't count towards meeting that need until they're actually developed. Hope that helps.— Lindsay de Sausmarez (@Lindsay_Gsy) January 9, 2023
Pictured: The E&I President explained why housing under construction does not count in the Committee's forecasts.
A new housing needs model was used to better assess the specific type of accommodation required, such as the adequate number of bedrooms, rather than just pure market demand for housing.
It's hoped these changes will allow for a clearer understand of how to efficiently use Guernsey’s limited amount of developable land.
Environment & Infrastructure note that there is a high prevalence of under occupancy in private market housing locally with many finding it difficult to rightsized due to a lack of suitable alternatives.
The Committee also recognise it is not always possible or fair to move people from unnecessarily large properties.
The policy letter recognises that market forces and viability concerns for developers cannot be controlled by the States, and therefore the new statistics do not represent a housing target to allow flexibility.
But the States can exercise influence over the development of partial ownership and social rental properties through its support of the Guernsey Housing Association, which has spent tens of millions in the past 15-months purchasing sites for new accommodation.
Pictured: A breakdown of how housing requirement has been approached by the States since 2000.
Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, Environment & Infrastructure President, said removing the need for external consultants to produce the indicator has reduced costs and provided more accurate projections.
“It’s brilliant that, for the first time, we can carry out this work in-house, without the need to request any additional funding from the States. Another huge benefit of our in-house model is that it makes it possible to review our housing need on a yearly or as-needs basis,” she said.
“I’d like to stress that the housing indicator is not a target: we are not saying that we must build over 1,500 homes. This is an indicator that helps us understand the extent to which Guernsey’s housing need is being met, and is a very useful tool not just for developers but also for the Development & Planning Authority as they consider planning policies and the Committee for Employment & Social Security as they consider the development of affordable housing.”
Housing is currently the number one priority for the States of Guernsey.
You can read the full policy letter HERE.
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