It has long been recognized that more affordable housing is required within the UK. As the majority of people now struggle to get onto the property ladder, affordable housing has become a priority for the government. However, as these houses are built at a cheaper cost, can they really provide maximum sustainability? More importantly, should affordable housing be designed to be sustainable?
Not only are affordable housing socialist in nature, but they also help the least advantageous sections of society as well. Proper housing helps contribute to a country’s GDP by encouraging citizens to start working and contributing to the economy. It is not a short-term goal. Rather, it is one in which the results are to be seen well into the future. Here, we’ll look at what affordable housing is and why sustainability should be a priority.
What is affordable housing?
Affordable housing first became a hot topic in 2016. As property prices began to rise much faster than people’s wages, the number of people who could afford to get on the property ladder was quickly declining. So, in a bid to combat the issue, affordable housing was announced.
According to the government, affordable housing should be no higher than 80% of market rent in the area. However, in terms of owning affordable housing, the limits were a little less clear. The mortgage rate should be more than it would rent, but less than market levels. So, finding affordable housing to buy was more difficult than finding affordable housing to rent.
Simply put, affordable housing is offered at a lower rate than the market value. However, not all affordable housing is designed with sustainability in mind.
Why sustainable housing is a necessity, not a luxury
Sustainability has become a major priority for the government. As global warming becomes an increasing threat, it’s become crucial to find ways to minimize our impact on the planet. So, although developers will obviously be looking to create affordable housing at as low a cost as possible, it’s important not to forget about sustainability in their designs.
Sustainability doesn’t just benefit the environment; it also lowers monthly energy bills for buyers. As less fuel will be required to power sustainable homes, it will help us to protect our ever-dwindling fossil fuel supply.
How can homes be built with sustainability in mind?
There are a number of ways affordable homes can be built with sustainability in mind. Developers and businesses looking to create more affordable housing would benefit from seeking expert advice on sustainability from a company such as Avison Young. Professionals will be able to advise you on the best way to make the development environmentally friendly.
Insulation also plays a huge role. A lot of affordable housing features very little insulation. However, by paying that little bit extra to accurately insulate new affordable homes, it’s going to lower energy usage, while also making them more noise resistant.
Overall, sustainability is important with new homes, especially affordable housing. It may not be as expensive as you might think to develop sustainable houses, given the government provide numerous grants you can take advantage of.