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FOCUS: The Guernsey Housing Association in 2022

FOCUS: The Guernsey Housing Association in 2022

Friday 16 December 2022

FOCUS: The Guernsey Housing Association in 2022

Friday 16 December 2022

Between 500 and 1,000 new units of accommodation are in the pipeline for construction over the coming years for those unable to buy or rent in the private market, and for essential workers.

The Guernsey Housing Association (GHA) has had a busy year; several sites have been purchased across the island and planning applications have been steadily submitted to provide a mix of homes to meet the current needs of islanders, where demand greatly outstrips supply.

£32.6m was allocated by the States last year to bolster the affordable housing development programme. Funding for purchasing these sites has come from this pot. 

Senior politicians have been banging the housing drum throughout the year, which is listed as one the States’ top priorities for 2023, describing the situation as a “crisis” and an “emergency”. 

The Association also recently said farewell to its Chief Executive, Steve Williams, and welcomed his replacement, Vic Slade, to the role.  

So, what’s been going on?  

Steve Williams GHA

Pictured: Out-going GHA Chief Executive, Steve Williams. 

In June we heard that the GHA had purchased the Route Militare data park site for £4.75m and would look to change its designation as an industrial zone in the Island Development Plan to a housing area.

In August the former CI Tyres site on La Charroterie was purchased for £1.7m and earmarked solely for key workers. Talks are underway to see if any development could be high-rise to ensure more homes in an area already populated by taller buildings. 

The Association completed the purchase of Duval Vinery this week for £1.95m meaning most of the redundant land around Fontaine Vinery is now under States control. Planning applications are in to construct over 130 homes on the land. 

Just this morning the Policy & Resources Committee published an application to erect 66 units of healthcare worker accommodation in the valley field on the grounds of the Princess Elizabeth Hospita– which are likely to be managed by the GHA if approved to be built. 

Plans are also in for GHA homes on Kenilworth Vinery – now named Parc Le Lacheur – which the States purchased for £6.5m in late 2021. 

The proposed redevelopment of Les Genats estate was also actioned this term. 

GHA Guernsey Housing association Victoria slade

Pictured: Vic Slade will oversee a large programme of builds in the first years of her tenure.

Work is hoped to start on each of these sites from 2023 subject to planning approval. There is optimism that at least portions of the sites, such as Duval, could be ready by 2024. 

The GHA note that “The joint States Housing and rented waiting list currently has 318 eligible households for one to four bed accommodation as of June 1 2021. 

“The list is made up of 199 applicants, and 119 existing social housing tenants who need to transfer to a more suitable property - such as ground floor due to mobility or health reasons. There are also 202 applicants seeking partial ownership housing.”

Ms Slade, the new Chief Executive of GHA, noted that “the States have been really supportive of GHA securing land to provide a pipeline of new affordable homes over the next few years”. 

What makes GHA’s accommodation ‘affordable’? 

The Guernsey Housing Association is an independent not-for-profit company that works alongside the Committee for Employment & Social Security to deliver social housing as part of the island’s ‘Affordable Housing Development Programme’.

First-time buyers who are unable to purchase a property at market values can apply to partially own one of the GHA’s properties. This applies to those who can afford mortgage payments but do not meet a bank’s lending criteria.

The maximum affordable is purchased from the Association, between 40% and 80%, using a smaller bank loan. A discounted rent is then paid to the GHA for its remaining share of the home, which can later be purchased in 10% tranches based on its current value.

The GHA estimate that around £3,000 is required for legal costs and mortgage fees, but there is no document duty or court fees to pay. Mortgage deposits are also flexible for those eligible. 

The property can be sold back to the GHA should the resultant equity allow the owner-occupier to buy in the private sector. 

The Authority also provides social rented housing using a States grant, charging similar rates for equivalent States properties. 

Income thresholds and a ‘nest egg’ of savings are considered for each applicant to determine the required accommodation type. 


Pictured: The GHA also provides specialist accommodation for elderly people, those with mobility issues, and other physical or phycological conditions. 

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