Why does Dorchester need affordable housing?

Dorchester is a fantastic place to live but it is becoming more difficulty for young people to afford to buy their own home.

Why is this and what can we do about it?

THE HOUSE PRICE v. AVERAGE EARNINGS GAP

  • Lowest available open market properties start at £150k, rapidly rising through £180k and beyond
  • Only 1% of properties in Dorchester (c. 100 properties) are shared ownership – everything else is open market or rented
  • Average Public Sector pay is £25k (DCC, WDDC, DCH, Schools), Private Sector probably lower
  • Typical mortgage multipliers + deposit require properties priced @ £90-£120k to be affordable
  • Consequently, under normal circumstances, young First Time Buyers find it very difficult to get onto the housing ladder in Dorchester

DEMAND FOR FIRST TIME BUYER HOMES

  • Dorchester Workforce – 17,000 jobs (2012, now higher), 9,000 economically active residents, some working away – c. 10,000 commuters to Dorchester daily, growing
  • 1/3 of all workers u35 – c. 6,000 (living with parents, open mkt rent, live out and commute)
  • A proportion of those workers would like to set up home in Dorchester
  • Dorchester’s population is disproportionately aged – +6% v. nat avge over 65, -5% 20-44 (2012, now worse) – we need young people in our community
  • Commuters bring traffic and parking problems, and take their economic and community energy away, weakening Dorchester
  • WDDC are trying to assess demand and create a register of young people who want to live in the town they work in
  • Focus should be on u35’s, average income, work in Dorchester, starter properties

THE TENNIS COURTS SITE

  • Recreational planning gain in 2000 due to Hospital development
  • Courts suffer from proximity to trees – dark, unusable 4 mths of the year in autumn/winter
  • DTC building 2 new courts on old bowling green – due for completion May 2018
  • Looked at alternative uses of Tennis Courts site
    • Alternative Recreation – levels, same issues as Tennis re autumn/winter use
    • Parking – extend from Trinity St, but car park not well used, levels for top court
    • Work with Dorchester Municipal Charities re almshouses – site too large for their needs
    • Affordable Flats for Sale or Rent – opportunity to support a new CLT

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