Around £64million will be injected into affordable housing projects in Oxford to combat ‘out of reach’ house prices.
Oxford City Council has revealed plans to build at least 2,050 affordable homes in the city up to 2023 to boost the city’s current supply of new builds and make the area more attractive to workers.
More than 500 of these will be delivered by council-owned Oxford Housing Company Limited (OHCL).
Current and planned developments include Barton Park, Oxpens, Northern Gateway, Blackbird Leys district centre, and Littlemore Park, among others.
Oxford City councillor Mike Rowley, board member for housing, said ‘it is time’ government recognises the urgent need for affordable housing.
He said neighbouring areas in Oxfordshire need to cooperate in building more homes, as the city does not have enough spare land.
He added: “Our city – our universities, hospitals, shops and manufacturers all have workers who need to be able to afford to settle down in the area. We’re doing what we can, and this is helped where our major institutions and biggest employers who also own housing land, join us in finding shared solutions.
“A big part of the solution is the cooperation of our neighbouring areas. Of the 30,000 new homes we know Oxford needs over the coming years, 8,000 of those can be built in the city, with the rest in neighbouring areas.”
A city council representative said the council has spent £17m over the past four years to deliver a range of affordable homes, including social rented, affordable rented and shared ownership homes.
This is in addition to an ongoing planning policy that requires private developers provide 50 per cent affordable homes for all new developments of more than 10 units.
Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon said the ambitious target is commendable but that very few schemes in the city have so far delivered 50 per cent affordable housing.
She said: “There is huge need but no sign, to date, that the city council knows how to deliver.
“We need to see a better balance between housing and employment sites. It isn’t good enough for the city to rule out numerous sites for housing and then expect neighbouring communities to pick up the city’s slack.
“So while we support the commitment to more funding for affordable housing, the policies must deliver the right outcomes.”