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Diverse housing for diverse communities

We need to provide market and affordable homes that meet the varied needs of our communities, from students to older people, and ensure that those who need specialist housing, or are vulnerable, can find a home that is right for them.

  • With people living longer, we need more homes that are flexible in terms of their accessibility and adaptability as we age, as well as specialist housing for older people. Providing suitable homes in the right locations for those looking to downsize will also enable family homes to be freed up, making best use of the housing that exists already.

  • We must plan for the needs of people with disabilities as well as specialist housing, through setting the right standards of provision.

  • We must consider whether Cambridge will need more student accommodation, so that students do not increase the demand for local housing.

  • Cambridge’s Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) play an important role, providing a range of more affordable shared accommodation. However, using homes in this way can reduce the number of family homes available, can have a negative impact on the character of an area and can contribute to local parking problems if there is an overconcentration. We will need to consider how the Local Plan can address the need for shared accommodation, through planning for specifically designed shared accommodation as part of inclusive communities.

  • Custom and self-build housing is housing built or commissioned by individuals (or groups of individuals) for their own use. This can help local residents develop their own lower cost market housing, support the local economy by providing work for local builders and tradesmen, and increase the diversity of housing supply and facilitate innovative housing design. We will need to consider the demand for self-build and custom build housing from the Councils’ registers and how the local plan can help deliver sites for self-build. We will also consider other models such as community led development including cooperative housing.

  • Not everyone wants to own their own home. We need to consider how ‘Build to Rent’ homes should form part of our housing mix. Homes in such developments are typically 100% rented, and are professionally managed by a single management company. They usually offer longer tenancy agreements of three years or more, so they can offer a better quality and more stable alternative to other privately rented housing.

  • South Cambridgeshire District Council is also exploring whether businesses should be helped to provide homes for their workers and whether there are specific requirements to provide essential local worker accommodation as part of the overall mix of housing.

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