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?


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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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