Housing strategy

The 2012-2016 Housing strategy is still current. A new strategy will follow later this year.

There are several challenges currently facing housing in the Canterbury district. These include:

  • comparatively low housing costs and low incomes;
  • a shortage of family homes;
  • a proportionally lower number of working-aged people;
  • a larger number of older people mean many family-sized homes are often under-occupied;
  • large numbers of students increase the demand for shared housing, distorting the local housing market; and
  • most people aspire to own their own home.

We have created a housing strategy to address these challenges whilst supporting the local economy. The priorities of the plan, based on feedback from local residents and businesses, are:

  • that development of new properties supports local communities,
  • there are enough homes available,
  • there are homes that local people can afford,
  • that homes are of a good quality, and
  • there is sufficient choice available.

To address these priorities, our ambitious, but achievable plan will ensure that land is made available to build the right type of homes that people can afford on an average local wage. We want to encourage the development of more family-sized homes and provide enough choice so empty-nesters (those living in a family home after the children have left) have a viable opportunity to downsize.

By improving the quality of houses in the district, (in conjunction with partnership organisations) we have already reduced the number of excess winter deaths.

We also want to manage the impact of high levels of shared housing (in particular student homes).

Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

The Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) is the research commissioned by Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet councils ahead of preparing the Local Plan and the Housing Strategy. The research provides evidence used to inform the decisions we make.

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