Views wanted on housing in Whitby area

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A massive survey to assess housing needs in the Whitby area and the rest of the county kicks off this month.

Scarborough Borough Council along with all the other housing authorities in North Yorkshire have joined forces to undertake the biggest piece of housing research ever undertaken in the region.

The survey, which will be carried out by consultants Vision Twentyone is being funded by central government.

It will go out to around 30,000 homes across the borough in the next couple of weeks including every home in the rural area and a large sample of homes in the urban areas of Scarborough, Whitby and Filey.

In total, around 160,000 homes across North Yorkshire will be targeted for the survey.

It looks at all aspects of housing – including affordable housing, housing for older people and supported housing for vulnerable people as well as the ‘open’ housing market of homes for sale and rent.

Councillor Richard Foster, chair of the Local Government North Yorkshire and York Housing Board said: “Housing markets and communities’ housing aspirations don’t follow local Council boundaries.

“We need to understand what type of housing North Yorkshire people require now and in the future, so we can plan properly to meet that need. And by working together we can not only get that better understanding but also save a considerable amount of money.

“We urge people to complete the survey - the information we get from local people is the best way to make sure we get our housing plans and planning decisions in our local areas right.”

The survey will gather information about what sort of homes people currently live in, how much they cost, and how far people travel to work. It will also consider why people choose to live where they do and what factors drive the housing markets in the borough and across North Yorkshire.

It will be particularly crucial in assessing likely affordable housing need in the borough over the next few years.

A similar housing needs assessment was carried out across the borough in 2007, which revealed high levels of affordable housing need across all parts of the borough. While Scarborough Borough Council says it has worked closely with partners to increase the supply of affordable housing since 2007, it is believed that the survey will continue to reveal high affordable housing needs in the borough.

In addition to the survey, consultants GVA, will work alongside Vision Twentyone to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the housing markets across the area consulting with estate and land agents, planners, housebuilders and housing associations.

They will use information from a range of other sources to come up with conclusions about how the housing markets work across the whole of North Yorkshire, and what sort of homes are needed in the future.

Finally the findings will also support each authorities Local Development Framework – the development plan for each area used to guide future housing developments.

The survey is being undertaken by Vision Twentyone, working alongside GVA on behalf of the district and borough councils of Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Ryedale, Richmondshire, Scarborough, Selby and the City of York Council, together with North Yorkshire County Council, and the National Park Authorities in the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales.

Anyone not receiving a survey can still take part by visiting: http://housingneedsurvey-nyshp.co.uk