Everyone needs a place to call home. A roof over our heads is one of the most basic human needs, and yet, for far too many people, finding a low-cost home is a constant struggle. The lack of affordable housing is a major problem in communities across the country, and it can have a profound impact on people’s lives.

Affordable housing is essential for families, seniors, and individuals who are struggling to make ends meet. It can provide stability and security, and it can improve mental and physical health. When housing is not affordable, people may be forced to live in unsafe or cramped conditions, or they may even become homeless. Ensuring that everyone has access to affordable housing is essential for creating a thriving community.

In this post, we’ll explain just what it is, who could potentially stand to benefit and some top tips for anybody looking to invest in affordable housing in the UK.

What is it?

When most people think of affordable housing, they think of government-subsidised housing projects. However, there are a number of organisations that offer affordable housing outside of this traditional model. In some cases, you may even be able to find affordable housing in luxurious buildings or neighbourhoods.

The definition of affordable housing is in the name – it’s a term applied to any properties that are affordable to people living on below average incomes. They help this specific demographic get onto the property ladder, since low income households may typically struggle to afford rent or buy a home in the traditional way.

As reported in this guide to affordable housing in the UK, for a housing unit to be considered affordable, it must fall into at least one of the following criteria:

  • Offers favourable rates 20% below local market rents or better
  • Be a starter home
  • Must be sold for at least 20% below local market price
  • Provides a route to property ownership for occupants

There are many factors that can contribute to how much a property costs, such as the location, the size of the unit, and the amenities that are included. Some affordable housing is available for people with specific needs, such as the elderly or people with disabilities.

Advice for buying affordable housing

Just as prospective tenants would when searching for a traditional home, it’s imperative that you do your due diligence as a buyer investing in affordable properties. Firstly, it’s important to consider other costs that may be associated with buying a home. For instance, you should assess the major appliances like fridges, freezers and washing machines, since these items will be the most expensive to replace if they’re not in good working condition.

Another important factor to consider is the location. If you’re moving with your family, you’ll want to do your research on the local schools, internet speeds and any basic amenities. The number of affordable homes is continuing to rise all across the country, so don’t settle for moving to an area that doesn’t cater to your specific needs.

To sum up

Affordable housing is designed to give everyone a fair chance at taking the first step towards home ownership. They’re seen as an important part of the housing market, particularly for low-income families, and we can expect to see a growing number available in years to come.

Photo © Roger Smith (cc-by-sa/2.0)