‘It’s not where we want or need to be”

By Chris Cornford Feb 24, 2021

For the first time in almost a decade, 100 affordable houses have been provided in a year on the Isle of Wight.
Four months on from the approval of the Isle of Wight Council’s five-year housing strategy, the council’s cabinet was told they have made ‘significant progress’, including more than 100 affordable homes built ready for occupation this year, the first time since 2012. The council has plans in place to build another 600 units over the next five years.

Seventy-five of the affordable units are in Ryde Village, reserved for over 55s and should be ready to move into by the end of March. The remainder, built elsewhere, are open to all residents, and advertised through the Council’s Home Finder scheme. There are currently 11 affordable housing options on the site, four for rent and seven Freshwater properties for sale at a 20 per discount on market value, priced from £148,000 to £228,000.

Sites for further affordable housing have been identified including on Eddington Road, Nettlestone, and Taylor Road, Carisbrooke, with land release funding applied for.
Cabinet member for planning and housing, Cllr Barry Abraham, said the council could be proud of the strategy’s success but it was only the start.

“It is certainly not where we want to be or where we need to be,” he said. “There are a lot of people on the Island who are struggling to find anywhere to live. It is something that does need to be looked at and we can help more people. It is our vision to enable everyone living on the Island to have a place they can call home.”
The housing strategy was approved in October 2020 with six main focus areas, including the new housing supply on the Island, homelessness and housing needs and affordable housing, and commits the council and its housing partner to delivering the outcomes.

So far, of the 48 actions proposed to be completed in the first year of the strategy, 40 have been achieved, another seven have been started and one has not been achieved in its project timescale but could be done before its annual review.

Due to Covid-19, a campaign to ‘break down resistance’ to new housing developments on the Island has had to be put on hold.