Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer: Our housing agenda

I’m a passionate advocate for home ownership, and it is simply not right that so many hardworking people are locked out of the property market through high prices and unattainable mortgages. We want to address the affordability of housing, particularly for key workers, first time buyers and those in employment who cannot access the home ownership market without family or other third-party support.

Our Housing Agenda

We all know that we are simply not building enough homes to house our growing population, but there are other issues we also need to address. Local people being priced out of a home in their community. Inappropriate developments in our towns and villages that do nothing for local communities. Sites with granted planning permission but unable to build out. Huge swathes of working people forced into astronomically expensive private rented homes.

The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority I lead has committed to building an additional 100,000 homes, including 40,000 affordable homes, by 2037. As part of that pledge, we have negotiated £100 million of investment from Government to go towards the delivery of 2,000 affordable homes by 2022. But we know that if we are going to deliver the housing we need, we’re going to have to do things differently.

Revolving Fund

£40 million of our initial Government investment we are using as a ground breaking “revolving fund”. Rather than give it away as grants, we loan it to developers to enable the start of construction on sites with affordable housing. Once it is repaid (with interest) we can use it again and again to fund more affordable housing.

Community Land Trusts

Winning the support of local communities for new development is key to getting these sites built out. Community Land Trusts give people a stake in the new housing coming to their towns and villages. Local communities have a genuine say in the development plans, and through the Trust they control the affordable housing, including the selection criteria and any rental income. We offer expert advice and guidance to communities thinking of setting up their own Community Land Trust, as a way to build housing that local people both want and need.

Affordable Ownership

There are huge swathes of working people earning too much to qualify for social housing, yet because of the high cost of renting they cannot hope to save enough to put a deposit down on a house. People have to look further and further away from their place of work for an affordable property. They end up trapped in the rental market and tagged as “Generation Rent”, regardless of their genuine aspirations.

Alongside the Shared Ownership and Help to Buy schemes that you can find out more about on this website, we are also developing a brand-new scheme: £100K Homes. A 1-bedroom home in your community that you can own 100% for £100,000. The combination of achievable deposit, affordable mortgage payments will put home ownership within the reach of any full-time worker. Please visit the website to find out more and show your support for this truly innovative, locally-driven scheme.

£100k Homes

£100K Homes is the Mayor’s flagship affordable housing scheme.

A 1-bedroom home in your community that you can own 100% for £100,000.

This scheme will bring real Affordable Ownership to working people, as well as keeping communities together and reducing the carbon footprint of the daily commute. Interest and support from the public will help the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority deliver these homes more quickly and at greater scale. Please go to the £100k Homes website to find out more.