6. 2c - Housing and building great neighbourhoods and communities
"The housing emergency is millions of people denied a safe home. The housing emergency is thousands of families stuck in temporary accommodation. The housing emergency is people living on the streets."
Shelter (2021) ‘Denied the Right to a Safe Home: Exposing the Housing Emergency’
"Neighbourhoods are the building block of a city. The improvement and creation of new urban communities combining new homes with meaningful and high-value jobs and services is at the heart of the Liveable Exeter vision. Neighbourhoods that promote wellbeing and physical activity can be achieved through the implementation of a transformational plan for delivering homes in the city."
Exeter has always ranked very highly as a great place to live in comparison with other cities in the UK. It is the quality of the environment, the friendliness of local people and the quality of life that make it so. Its popularity and its attractiveness as a place, drive growth and investment. This fuels demand for more housing, placing greater pressures on an overloaded infrastructure including hospitals, schools and other public services.
- A shortage of social and affordable one and two bedroomed homes, with over 2800 people waiting for social housing (as at 6 June 2022).
- Between 15 and 25 people are sleeping on the streets of Exeter on any given night.
- Over 600 households (individuals and families) are homeless in Exeter, stuck in temporary accommodation - homelessness hostels and shared accommodation plus hotels and bed and breakfasts.
- Renters face insecurity, the threat of unfair eviction and unsustainably high rents in the private sector.
- In 2021, an Exeter home typically cost an average of 9.1 times earnings – up from 7.9 in 2020.
- Annual house price inflation is up to 13.4%, with by far the strongest quarterly growth (3.5%) of any region (average house price of £293,968.
- Private rents paid by tenants in the South West rose by 3.5% in the 12 months to February 2022.
How we will address this priority - headline actions
The Exeter Plan (the local plan)
Will shape the future of Exeter for the next 20 years, setting out how the city continues to evolve and meet the needs of the community. As the main planning policy document, it will set out where development should take place and will be vital in making decisions on planning applications. Further information on progress with the plan is available on our website.
Will create new homes for the city guided by Garden City principles, working in close collaboration with local architects and partners. These principles have been built into the Exeter Vision 2040.
Liveable Exeter will encompass eight sites around the city including Water Lane and St David’s and will deliver 12,000 new homes in new urban communities on existing brownfield sites. The programme will address major challenges of infrastructure and renewal, low carbon development as well as drawing together the core threads of the Exeter Vision 2040. You can find out more about the programme, the sites and community engagement plans at www.liveableexeter.co.uk.
As the owner of the Exeter City Living property development company, we build, high-quality, energy-efficient, safe and affordable homes across a range of tenures.
- Create a business case for our own new Residential Property Company to build and acquire rented homes with the security of an ethical landlord and a security of tenancy not seen in the private sector.
- Use funding from the Housing Revenue Account to deliver 500 new council homes over the next 10 years.
Property owner and landlord
As the landlord of houses and flats in Exeter, we manage homes that tenants can be proud of and enable them to sustain their tenancies.
- Update the 30 year business plan for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), setting out how the council will manage its HRA resources to support the delivery of high-quality council housing in Exeter.
- Review our Tenancy Policy and Strategy.
- Ensure that all housing services comply with regulatory standards and procedures to be introduced by the new Social Housing Regulator in March 2023.
- Bring Edwards Court (Extra Care) into housing management.
- Introduce a Neighbourhood Strategy that enables tenants to be part of their community and provides safe, well-managed estates.
- Publish and implement a new Asset Management Plan, which includes our plans to shift capital investment towards carbon neutrality and to focus on emerging government legislation such as the Future Homes Standard and Building Safety Act.
- Improve the energy efficiency of our own properties reducing carbon emissions and fuel costs by continuing the retrofit programme for our housing stock (4,800 properties).
- Ensure the safety of all tenants and leaseholders via compliant management of gas servicing, electrical testing, asbestos management, legionella testing, fire risk assessments and lift servicing.
Housing advice and homelessness support
We play a leading role in ensuring that the most vulnerable citizens receive the best advice and, where possible, an accommodation offer at the earliest opportunity with ongoing bespoke support.
- Publish and implement a new Homelessness Strategy that supports our ambition to reduce rough sleeper numbers, and end rough sleeping where possible by 2025.
- Increase integrated offers of accommodation and treatment to build better recovery from homelessness as well as homelessness prevention in the first place.
- Continue co-production and partnership work with the voluntary sector to provide accommodation units with tenancy training and support where needed.
- Explore setting up strategic forums for local providers and commissioners to better join up services and deliver improved outcomes around acute homelessness need.
- Invest £4M in new “stepping stone” homes for rough sleepers, plus annual £1.5M investment over next 3 years in new accommodation and support interventions.