Affordable Housing in the BCP area at crisis level

Affordable Housing in the BCP area at crisis level

David Cracklen, Director of AJC Group, comments on the lack of affordable housing in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area as a matter of urgency, following reports that individuals on middle incomes are struggling to afford their rent.

Not only do we have a housing crisis nationwide, but the impact is also being felt more locally in the Dorset region, more specifically Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

With more families and individuals unable to buy their own home, many have had to resort to rental properties. However, with the pressures also felt in the buy-to-let market, monthly rents have skyrocketed. A recent news piece in the Dorset and Bournemouth Echo, reported that ‘people on middle incomes are forced to pay more than a third of their wages on rent’.

Quite frankly, this is simply unacceptable, as this statistic includes many public sector workers, particularly those working in the NHS and education services. The current social housing registers are at an all-time high, with waiting lists exceeding previous years and hitting record levels.

This is precisely why at AJC Group, we’ve transitioned from being a private developer, occasionally involved in affordable housing projects, to becoming a dedicated affordable housing contractor. Our primary objective is to provide much-needed housing for local residents who desperately need it.

Working with the local council and housing associations, we are on track to construct 500 affordable homes by 2028. But this is going to be a hard feat, as there is almost no support for SME housebuilders from the Government. Particularly with the lack of first time buyer incentives available, affordable housing is needed more than ever.

Research by the National Housing Federation (NHF) and Shelter found that investing in social housing could boost the economy by £50bn, and add almost £12bn back into the taxpayers pocket. 90,000 social rented homes would need to be built, but would deliver both short-term and long-term benefits, for firstly those seeking housing and secondly the national economy. This would also directly support nearly 140,000 jobs nationwide.

Hopefully the next Government will enforce some positive changes in the housing market, and take note from these reports and studies, as not only do we have a housing crisis locally, but this trend is only set to continue nationwide.

Based in Poole, Dorset, AJC Group is on a mission to improve the quantity and quality of affordable homes in the Wessex region and beyond. The team have a track record in supporting local residents facing homelessness and have recently delivered a trailblazing scheme to provide 24 ‘move on’ homes in Poole. AJC Group has a number of projects currently under construction, with a focus on much-needed affordable and sustainable housing.

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