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Affordable housing development

Affordable housing development

What we do

As the Housing Development Team, we ensure the affordable housing development that's required in our district, as detailed within our planning policies and housing strategy, is delivered and promote the provision of new affordable housing schemes throughout the district. This is done in partnership with Registered Social Landlords, private developers, parish councils, and other interested parties.

As a result of changes to the way council housing is financed, we have also begun to build council housing again. Our programme sets the target to provide 70 new council homes per year.

We also work to bring forward exception site schemes, working with parish councils and Registered Social Landlord partners, to provide much needed affordable housing in South Cambridgeshire villages.

For more information, contact the team:

Affordable housing is defined in the National Planning Policy Framework as housing for rent or for sale for those whose needs are not met by the current market.The provision of affordable housing is a key issue for the Council and a key factor impacting the need for affordable housing is the high cost of buying or renting on the open market in comparison to local household incomes. 


What is the need for affordable properties in South Cambridgeshire?

As of January 2024 there are 2,019 people on our housing register in need of an affordable property for affordable or social rent who have a local connection to South Cambridgeshire. This includes: 

  • 993 residents in need of a one-bedroom property
  • 563 residents in need of a two-bedroom property
  • 339 residents in need of a three-bedroom property 
  • 104 residents in need of a four-bedroom property
  • 19 residents in need of a five-bedroom property 
  • 1 resident in need of a six-bedroom property

Unfortunately, the Housing Register doesn't keep a record of those that are in need of affordable routes to home-ownership. However, as per the National Planning Policy Framework all sites that aren't for 100% affordable housing must provide a minimum of 10% home-ownership options and we adhere to this in our policies. In South Cambridgeshire, that is increased to 30% on a site within the development framework boundary.

Affordable housing is built through Registered Providers, Private Developers and our own New Build Team. The amount of affordable housing is site specific, more information on affordable housing requirements can be found on the Affordable Housing Requirements Tab.

South Cambridgeshire District Council is committed to providing a range of housing options for residents. To accomplish this, the Strategic Housing team are proactive in making sure new developments adhere to our affordable housing policies so we can produce the best quality homes for our residents. Our key policies and documents are listed below:

General Information

  • Housing Market Bulletin: Providing information on affordable house prices and market conditions in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and West Suffolk.
  • Cambridgeshire Insight : Providing shared research on housing figures in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and West Suffolk.

Upcoming Documents

If you have a site to consider, please contact us using the following email address: 

Over the past three years, there have been a high number of affordable housing completions enabled by our Housing Strategy Team working together with the Registered Providers, Our New Build team, Parish Councils and Developers. Over the past three years our total units completed are as follows:

  • To date the Affordable Housing Completed for this financial year (Quarter 1 and Quarter 2) between April 2023 to March 2024 is 115 units, of which 61 are for affordable rent and 54 units are for shared ownership.
  • The Affordable Housing Completed between April 2022 to March 2023 (Quarters 1 to 4) were a total of 184 units, of which 48 units were for social rent, 207 for affordable rent, 187 for shared ownership and 5 for rent-to-buy.
  • The Affordable Housing Completed between April 2021 to March 2022 (Quarters 1 to 4) were a total of 680 units. This consisted of 512 units for affordable rent and 168 units for shared ownership.

Affordable Housing Completed this financial year to date are shown in the below table. Quarters 3 and Quarters 4 will be added accordingly when we have the data back from our Affordable Housing Providers. 

Scroll for more
Affordable Housing Completed between April 2023 - March 2024  Social Rent Affordable Rent Shared Ownership  Total
Quarter 1 (Q1) 0 40 35 75
Quarter 2 (Q2) 0 21 19 40
Quarter 3 (Q3)  TBC     TBC   TBC   TBC
Quarter 4 (Q4) TBC   TBC   TBC   TBC
Total for Quarters 1 to Quarter 4 0 61 54 115


If you have any further questions or schemes that you'd like to bring forward in the District please contact

Registered providers (often known as social landlords) are the bodies that own and manage social housing. 

They tend to be non-commercial organisations such as local authorities or housing associations.

Housing associations are independent, not-for-profit organisations that can use any profit they make to maintain existing homes and help finance new ones.

Registered providers are financially regulated and funded by the government through Homes England, which is responsible for the construction of new social homes.

You can find all registered social landlords operating in South Cambridgeshire on our registered social landlords contacts list. 

Please note that the contact details given relate to staff working in development only. If you need a general telephone number, please look on their individual websites (which are linked on our contacts list).

We work in partnership with Cambridgeshire ACRE and a number of Housing Associations to deliver affordable housing for villages in South Cambridgeshire.

The Housing Needs Survey complements the Housing Register by adding to our understanding of housing need in rural communities.

The survey questionnaire is posted to every address in the village and has been carried out by Cambridgeshire Acre since 2009.

To request a copy of a Housing Needs Survey, please contact us

Although procurement of land for affordable housing is our main priority, there are certain smaller schemes where, for various reasons, the inclusion of affordable housing may not be appropriate. 

It has therefore been agreed that, in exceptional circumstances, a commuted sum may be an acceptable alternative to the provision of land/units of affordable housing on residential developments within village frameworks.

A decision whether a commuted sum is acceptable in any given circumstance will be considered as part of the determination of the planning application.

The Housing Development Officer will be able to provide advice to applicants as well as the Area Planning Officers, but will not be empowered to make decisions in this regard.

All monies received from commuted sums will be ring-fenced for affordable housing purposes in the District.

Contact Details