WILTSHIRE Council is looking at “innovative” ways of dealing with housing need.

A presentation was given to the Southern Wiltshire Area Board, which covers areas including Alderbury, Coombe Bissett, Downton, Landford, Laverstock, Redlynch, Whiteparish, and Winterslow, last week.

Cabinet member for housing, Councillor Richard Clewer said: “We have 97 houses at last count in temporary accommodation in Wiltshire.

“We are building council houses, we have got 180 that we have built in phase one and have started phase two, and there will be another 49 coming there. That is the first of what I hope will be a continual process. We are looking at doing that. We are also looking at other innovative ways of dealing with housing around setting up a housing company to look at buying housing, so we can help house people without the need to provide lifetime tenure and the need to have the right to buy applying.”

A survey found the housing need that could be generated over a 20 year period from 2016 to 2036 was 2,238 households. The “biggest” need was for three bed houses (54 per cent).

The meeting heard 56 households are registered on the council’s housing register in the southern area.

He said the “dominant” requirement was for one bed homes (54 per cent) with 29 per cent for two bedrooms, 12 per cent three, and 5 per cent four.

Director of housing Simon Hendey said: “This is quite a different need in terms of those highest level of housing need compared to the overall level of housing need in the southern area.”

Options for affordable housing included affordable rented housing, which is provided by the council or registered providers like housing associations, shared ownership housing and community land trusts which are set up to own and manage housing.

Issues raised by residents and councillors at the meeting included the need for smaller properties in the southern area villages for residents, including the elderly wanting to downsize, more flexibility over access to housing and understanding of the demographics of particular areas.