It was 18 months ago when the council first sealed its agreement with Miller Homes and Inspired Developments to develop the prime land site with stunning panoramic views across Salford. At the time, the council put out a press release under the heading `Affordable Housing for Local People’…the “new homes will provide a significant element of affordable housing for local people”…
Of the 28 `affordable homes’, Contour Housing are managing 11 of the properties. Of those, only five are for social rent. Which means that from all the council owned properties due for demolition in the area only a handful of occupiers are going to be offered a new rented property on the site. The other six `Contour’ houses will be offered for sale on a `shared ownership’ basis. Contour told us that, of the first three of these houses, two large family homes will cost £175,000, and a smaller one will cost £140,000.
This shared ownership scheme means that the buyer purchases 50% of the property (for the £175,000 house the cost is £85,000 either bought outright or through a mortgage), and then pays a rent at 3% of the cost of the `unsold equity’ to Contour, which rises at 0.5% a year (the rent would work out at around £54 a week to start), with an option to reduce the rental figure by purchasing more of the unsold equity after 12 months.
“Affordability for local people has been calculated in strict line with the Housing Corporation required regulations” says Paul Adamson, Policy and Communication Officer for Contour Housing.
“The scheme has been put together targeting a household with two incomes earning a total of £22,000p.a. - £11k each (for the smaller house) or £27,000 p.a. - £13.5k each (for the two larger houses)” he adds “This is in line with the Salford average earnings for the local area of £11,000 p.a. and a standard mortgage being attained of 3.5 times annual income.
“For those families that earn under these average earnings, or aren’t attracted to owning their own property through shared ownership we also have five social rented properties on the site.”
The other 17 `affordable homes’ are to be, according to the official planning document “low cost owner occupied” houses…”Miller/Inspired Developments will discount these homes by 25% of the open market value”. The shared equity homes being sold by Contour already have this discount, so you can work out the region of cost for these `affordable homes’ too. Will there be a stampede of families from Lower Kersal/Charlestown rushing to buy in Kersal Heights ? Our random survey says not…