Affordable Housing and Conveyancing

Affordable Housing and Conveyancingarticle by Philip Bullivant, Legal Executive, Irwin Mitchell Conveyancing Team from the Sheffield Star


The Government's Green Paper "Homes for the Future; More Affordable, More Sustainable" sets out plans for three million (3m) more homes by 2020 and at least seventy thousand (70,000.00) affordable houses per year by 2010-2011.

There has been much debate concerning the use of Section 106 Planning Agreements and the provision of affordable housing. In Sheffield proposals to force developers to increase the proportion of affordable housing in new developments to 40% have been approved by the Local Planning Authority. On Local Authority Estimates seven hundred (700) new affordable homes will be required year on year to keep pace with demand.

It is clear that by whichever means the affordable housing demand is met, the necessity for these homes coupled with the drive for environmental improvement will have a marked impact upon the delivery of property services introducing elements alien to the traditional notion of conveyancing and more akin to those seen within commercial transactions. Shared Ownership and Shared Equity Schemes in particular will inevitably become growth areas and will require specialist input.

The move from the 'monotenure' new housing development is well underway and the impact of the affordable housing requirement, planning policy guidelines, energy saving issues and environmental concerns combined with the onset of e-conveyancing are coming together to change the landscape of conveyancing.