A Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) has recently been completed for the North Northamptonshire area, which covers East Northamptonshire, Kettering Corby and Wellingborough.
The assessment uses existing and available demographic, social and housing data to identify the dynamics of the local housing market; the choices available to local people; the current and future relationship between need, demand and supply; the projected future requirement for housing and the interventions which might improve housing choice in the area.
The summary report provides a good overview of the key findings for the area, and concludes that the key challenges to 2031 will be:
1. Provide aspirational downsizing and typically 2 bedroom homes for under- occupying older households living in 3 bedroom and larger family housing;
2. Meet the requirement for designated, sheltered and extra care housing from a rapidly expanding older population, especially from those aged 85 and above; and
3. Adapt to the impact of welfare reform in constraining the access of low income households to housing in the social and private rented sector.
Findings and recommendations have already been incorporated into the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (emerging draft for consultation); the document which sets out the overall strategic plan for North Northamptonshire. The Council's Planning Policy, Housing Strategy and Development Control teams are working together to take forward the recommendations of the report, and utilise the information in forward planning.
The primary housing needs data will be used to inform development, and in particular determine the mix and type of market and affordable housing on specific sites. A district level report for East Northamptonshire will also be produced when the full range of Census 2011 data is available. This report is more specific to this area, and is similar to a traditional housing needs assessment.