Affordable housing

On 1 April the single new council for North Yorkshire launched replacing Scarborough Borough Council and other local authorites in North Yorkshire.

To find your Councillor or to view minutes, meetings and agendas please visit the North Yorkshire Council website.

We use the Government’s own definitions of affordable housing as stated in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Affordable housing is defined in the NPPF as:

Affordable housing includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market.

Affordable housing should:

  • Meet the needs of eligible households including availability at a cost low enough for them to afford, determined with regards to local incomes and local house prices.
  • Include provision for the home to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or, if these provisions are lifted, for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative housing provision.

How is affordable housing allocated?

Social rented housing is:

Rented housing owned and managed by local authorities and registered providers (otherwise known as housing associations), for which guideline target rents are determined through the national rent regime.

It may also include rented housing owned or managed by other persons and provided under equivalent rental arrangements to the above, as agreed with the local authority or with Homes England as a condition of grant.

Affordable rented housing is:

Rented housing let by registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable Rent is not subject to the national rent regime but is subject to other rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80% of the local market rent. This is capped by the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate. 

Intermediate affordable housing is:

Housing at prices and rents above those of social rent, but below market price or rents, and which meet the criteria set out above. This can include low cost home ownership (e.g. Shared Ownership), shared equity products (e.g. HomeBuy) and intermediate rent (Rent to Buy) but does not include affordable rented housing.


In the case of Social Rented Accommodation, social rents are set in accordance with the national rent restructuring guidelines

In the case of affordable rent, they are capped by the LHA rate

In the case of Intermediate Affordable Housing, the Council uses one of a number of recognised definitions of affordability based on gross household income. An owner-occupied or intermediate tenure property is generally considered to be unaffordable if it costs more than 3.5x gross household income.       

How is Affordable Housing provided?

Affordable housing is provided mainly through Housing Associations in the Borough. The Council does not own or build any affordable housing itself, having transferred all it’s stock to Yorkshire Coast Homes in 2003.

Housing Associations develop both affordable housing for rent and low cost home ownership in the Borough. The vast majority of the low cost home ownership is shared ownership. There are a number of Housing Associations operating in the Borough. The principal provider is Beyond Housing: Beyond Housing were formed in October 2018 following a merger of Yorkshire Coast Homes and Coast and Country Housing. With over 4,500 rented homes in the Borough, Beyond Housing are the largest provider of affordable homes in the Borough.

Other providers currently developing in the Borough include:

  • Sanctuary Housing Association
  • Home Housing Group
  • York Housing Association  
  • Broadacres Housing Association
  • Thirteen Group
  • Together Group
  • Yorkshire Housing

There are approximately 6,700 social rented homes and xxx shared ownership in the Borough. Over a 1,000 new affordable homes have been developed in the Borough since 2007, with over 800 being for rent and almost 200 being shared ownership.

We enable the development of affordable housing in a number of ways as follows:

Disposing of council owned land to Housing Associations to develop affordable housing schemes. We have disposed of land in Scarborough, Whitby and Eastfield directly to housing associations for affordable housing

Through S106 planning obligations, which require housing developers to provide a percentage of a new housing development for affordable housing

The provision of grant from S106 commuted sums to housing associations in certain circumstances to support affordable housing development. The Council also provides grant from the Community Housing Fund to support the development of Community-led Housing

We also employ a Rural Housing Enabler through the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding (YNYER) Rural Housing Enabler Network to support the development of affordable housing in rural settlements in the Borough.

The Rural Housing Enabler (RHE) works closely with the local communities, parish councils and housing associations to develop much needed affordable housing in rural settlements across the Borough. By working with local people and housing associations they help provide affordable housing to enable local people on modest incomes to stay in their village and sustain communities. A key tool for delivering these homes is the Rural Exception Site policy outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework. This allows affordable housing to be developed on sites within or immediately adjacent to villages that would not otherwise be permitted, provided that it meets a proven local need. Such schemes must be sympathetic to the character of a village and remain affordable for local people.

The RHE has the skills and expertise to:

  • Undertake parish wide surveys to assess local housing need
  • Work with the Parish Council and others, such as housing associations, to explore ways of meeting identified housing need
  • Liaise with landowners and local authority housing and planning departments to identify possible sites
  • Facilitate community consultations
  • Help to secure funding for affordable housing
  • Act as an honest broker between parties as the project progresses, ensuring that the community is able to participate

Over the last 12 years the RHE has helped to develop over 100 new affordable homes across a number of villages mainly in the National Park including Glaisdale, Egton, Lythe and Hinderwell.  The RHE is currently involved in the development of a number of new schemes in villages including Staithes and Grosmont and has also recently undertaken housing needs surveys in Fylingdales and Danby. The results of the surveys can be seen via the following link: