What is affordable housing? 

We use the Government’s own definitions of affordable housing as stated in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Affordable housing is defined in the NPPF as:

Affordable housing includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market.

Affordable housing should:

  • Meet the needs of eligible households including availability at a cost low enough for them to afford, determined with regards to local incomes and local house prices.
  • Include provision for the home to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or, if these provisions are lifted, for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative housing provisions.

How is affordable housing allocated?

Social rented housing is:

Rented housing is owned and managed by local authorities and registered providers (otherwise known as housing associations), for which guideline target rents are determined through the national rent regime.

It may also include rented housing owned or managed by other persons and provided under equivalent rental arrangements to the above, as agreed with the local authority or with Homes England as a condition of the grant.

Affordable rented housing is:

Rented housing is let by registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable Rent is not subject to the national rent regime but is subject to other rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80% of the local market rent. This is capped by the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate. 

Intermediate affordable housing is:

Housing at prices and rents above those of social rent, but below market price or rents, and which meet the criteria set out above. This can include low-cost home ownership (e.g. Shared Ownership), shared equity products (e.g. HomeBuy) and intermediate rent (Rent to Buy) but does not include affordable rented housing.


In the case of Social Rented Accommodation, social rents are set in accordance with the national rent restructuring guidelines

In the case of affordable rent, they are capped by the LHA rate

In the case of Intermediate Affordable Housing, the Council uses one of a number of recognised definitions of affordability based on gross household income. An owner-occupied or intermediate tenure property is generally considered to be unaffordable if it costs more than 3.5x gross household income.       

How is Affordable Housing provided?

Affordable housing is provided mainly through Housing Associations in the District. The Council does have its own housing stock and plans to build more affordable housing in the future.

Housing Associations develop both affordable housing for rent and low-cost home ownership in the District. The vast majority of low-cost home ownership is shared ownership. There are a number of Housing Associations operating in the District.

Other providers currently developing in the District include:

  • Together Housing 
  • Wakefield District Housing (WDH)
  • Home Group
  • Stonewater
  • Broadacres 
  • York Housing Association
  • Karbon Housing 
  • Thirteen Group
  • Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT)
  • Yorkshire Housing
  • Leeds Federated 

There are approximately 5,000 affordable homes in the District. Over 600 new affordable homes have been developed in the District between 2018 and 2022, with over 350 being for rent and almost 300 being shared ownership.

We enable the development of affordable housing in a number of ways:

Disposing of council-owned land to Housing Associations to develop affordable housing schemes. 

Through S106 planning obligations, which require housing developers to provide a percentage of a new housing development for affordable housing

We also employ a Rural Housing Enabler through the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding (YNYER) Rural Housing Enabler Network to support the development of affordable housing in rural settlements in the district.

The Rural Housing Enabler (RHE) works closely with the local communities, parish councils and housing associations to develop much-needed affordable housing in rural settlements across the District. By working with local people and housing associations they help provide affordable housing to enable local people on modest incomes to stay in their village and sustain communities. A key tool for delivering these homes is the Rural Exception Site policy outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework. This allows affordable housing to be developed on sites within or immediately adjacent to villages that would not otherwise be permitted, provided that it meets a proven local need. Such schemes must be sympathetic to the character of a village and remain affordable for local people.

The RHE has the skills and expertise to:

  • Undertake parish-wide surveys to assess local housing need
  • Work with the Parish Council and others, such as housing associations, to explore ways of meeting identified housing need
  • Liaise with landowners and local authority housing and planning departments to identify possible sites
  • Facilitate community consultations
  • Help to secure funding for affordable housing
  • Act as an honest broker between parties as the project progresses, ensuring that the community is able to participate