Arthuret Parish Housing Need Survey 2009

Key Findings – The Survey

1273 survey forms were delivered by post to the households and businesses within of the parish of Arthuret (100%), with a return date of 28 February 2009. The businesses in the area just across the bridge immediately to the north west of Longtown, were included in the survey even though they are officially in Kirkandrews Parish, as it was felt by the Carlisle City Council planners that people working in these businesses would be eligible for housing in Arthuret Parish. The survey forms in the rural areas outside Longtown were marked so that any housing needs in the rural area could be separately identified.

208 households returned their completed forms.  This is a return rate of 16.34%, which is below the average of 35% return rate for this type of survey in Cumbria since 2006.  Cumbria Rural Housing Trust expresses its thanks to the Parish Council, the Parish Council clerk, and others in the community for their hard work to promote the survey. It is felt that the return rate for the survey was affected by the fact that other surveys regarding plans for Longtown had been sent out in the past, and that the ongoing demolition of the recently closed secondary school further depressed local enthusiasm. However, from information received from market town surveys outside Cumbria, 20% is regarded as a good return rate.

Of the returned forms, there were 38 responses, saying that either the whole household or someone living within the household, wished to move within the parish in the next 5 years.

 

Housing Need

 

Of the 34 survey responses indicating a housing need, 17 households were identified as in need of affordable housing in the parish of Arthuret. The need is mainly for rented accommodation, with some households possibly eligible for intermediate rented accommodation.

It is considered that the remaining 21 responses did not fit Carlisle City Council’s criteria for being in need of affordable housing within the parish in the next 5 years.

 

 

Households in Need

 

The need is mainly for rented accommodation, mainly due to low wages locally, but also, as most of the households in need do not have the funds available for the deposit for a mortgage.

Of the 17 of the households in need of affordable housing, nine are young people leaving their parents’ home and setting up house on their own. Their need at present is for mainly 2 bed accommodation, and as some of them are still students, much of this need will not materialise for 3 - 5 years. Realistically, some of these young people will leave the area for work and other reasons, and some will form couples and have children. Therefore, it may be better to take a phased approach, looking at providing for the immediate need in the next 3 years, and in the long term to look at building fewer 2 bedroom properties and more 3 bed properties, to allow a more stable community with couples able to stay in the area once they have had their children. Once the initial housing is provided, some form of reassessment may be needed to see what the remaining need is.

 

Three of the households in need are in Housing Association properties, but the present accommodation is unsuitable for their needs. If they move this would free 2 x 2 bedroom houses, and 1 x 3 bedroom house.

 

One household was presently living in the rural part of the parish, but they indicated that they wished to move to Longtown.

 

There was evidence of possible further need, from survey forms that had been completed but with insufficient evidence for an assessment to be made. There were 4 adult children, aged 20-29, living with their parents at present, who may be in housing need in the next 5 years. Their initial need would be for 2 bedroom properties, but in the long term, their need may be more for 3 bedroom properties.

 

There was evidence that there may be a ‘local’ need for suitable housing for older households with 6 households having assets in their present house, but wanting to find suitable accommodation such as a bungalow. This need could be satisfied by the provision of new build bungalows with local occupancy clauses to ensure community benefit in the long-term. Comments indicated that the present 1 bed bungalows and flats owned by Riverside were felt unsuitable.

 

Recommendations and other issues to be considered

 

It is important to note that a Housing Needs Survey offers only a snap shot of the housing situation in the parish at the time of the survey, and this will alter with increasing/decreasing values of housing, policies of lenders, and the economic climate, demographics changes in the community and as individuals situations change.