Families have made a plea for somewhere to live as it was revealed just one affordable home was provided in Weymouth and Portland in the first six months of the financial year.

A business review conducted by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council found that between April and September this year just one affordable house was provided in the area, well below the set target of 33.

Many families say they have been left struggling due to the shortage of homes in the borough.

Rowena Givens, 31, lives with her partner Andrew and three children in a two-bedroom flat on the Esplanade. 

She said: "My eldest daughter is in the middle of being diagnosed for ADHD and ASD. I have had nearly all the professionals involved write a letter saying she needs her own room, but the council have said there is no housing available. 

"There have been times where I have waited two weeks for a property to come up for me to bid on. I have not been on the housing list long, only a year, but due to medical circumstances we should be a priority.

"We find ourselves hitting a brick wall."

She added: "The flat looks untidy all the time as we have no room to put anything anywhere."

Natalie Owens, 39, lives with her three teenage daughters in a room of a b&b on Weymouth seafront. 

She said: “We’re on our eleventh week here. 

“I was evicted from my last house because I couldn’t afford the rent. We all sleep and eat in the same room.

“My daughters are 13, 16 and 18, so one of them is an adult now which makes it even worse. I’m also classed as disabled as I have a muscle disease.

“I tried to bid on a three bedroom house and I wasn’t even shortlisted. I'm just waiting for the council to say if I'll get a house or not."

Natalie Kavanagh, 26, lives with her five-year-old son in a flat on Benville Road, Weymouth.

She said: "We live in a disabled access flat with a wet room, which wasn't easy when he was one. 

"We're not able to have a bath, unless we go to my mum's place. It costs me a fortune in the summer just to enjoy the sun as we have to go out everyday.

"We just want our own place with a bath and a garden, but now I can't go back on the housing list because we're classed as adequately housed."

The business review was discussed during a meeting of WPBC’s management committee. 

During the meeting Cllr Ray Nowak, council spokesman for environment and sustainability, said: "As ever it's a numbers game.

"The number of planning applications is lower than expected and this affects the number of affordable homes. 

"In terms of the number, it is because the council's policy is to only count affordable homes when they have been delivered, not ones that are being built."

A report summarising the review said: “It is hoped that the target range of 50 to 65 homes will be met by the end of the financial year.”

Elsewhere in the county, 25 affordable homes were provided in west Dorset and none in north Dorset for the second quarter of the financial year.

A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research says that 92 per cent of local authorities are failing to meet affordable housing needs, and 67 per cent failed to meet housing demand in 2015/16. The report calls for the government to allow councils to borrow to invest in the building of a new generation of council homes. 

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Gill Taylor, borough council spokesman for housing, said: “In the first six months of this year there has only been one affordable home secured in Weymouth and Portland which was a shared ownership property.

“However there are further affordable homes now being developed at Pemberley, Curtis Fields and the Waverley Arms plus new affordable homes are also being purchased as part of the off-site provision for the Lorton Lane development."

Cllr Taylor said the figures were "expected" by the council after being above target over the last few years. 
She added: "However, we do have a shortage of affordable houses for rent and shared ownership in the borough. 

“The council currently has a project called ‘Accelerating Home Building’ which we are using to provide more housing in the borough."

EARLIER this week, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and West and North Dorset District Councils jointly launched an ambitious scheme which could see 20,000 homes built in western Dorset by 2033. 

The scheme Opening Doors – Building for the Future, will include a mixture of affordable, open market and rented accommodation.

Housing brief holders from all three councils are leading the scheme.

Cllr Tim Yarker, housing spokesman at WDDC, said one of the biggest issues facing the partnership is "housing for single people, young couples and young families." 

The project will also help Community Land Trusts make use of £2 million of funding to build more 'bottom up' affordable housing. 

To reach the target, an average of around 1,176 homes will need to be built every year across the three council areas.