street view of two houses with stone walls and timber cladding

Affordable & Social Housing

Creating high quality homes for individuals and households on low incomes and adults and children with special needs.

The high cost of property and rent means many families and individuals can’t afford a place of their own, making it impossible to find somewhere suitable to rent or buy.

We work closely with Housing Associations, Local Authorities, developers and builders to achieve purpose built affordable and social housing which is well designed, cost effective and looks attractive.

aerial view of building with curved roof and sea views

Experienced designers

WDA have designed affordable houses and apartments as part of mixed use, retail and commercial schemes to comply with planning conditions or as standalone projects to maximise site value and meet specific end user requirements.

This includes Rented, Shared Ownership Homes and New Build, Low Cost home ownership including discounted market sale First Homes.  Rented Homes include both Social Rented with low rent, whilst Affordable Rent is where rent is no more than 80% of local market rates.

care home design visual

Accessible homes

Our special needs expertise extends to housing for specific user groups, including fully Wheelchair Accessible, independent and supported living, severely disabled, reablement, recovering brain or spinal injuries, halfway houses for integrating ex-offenders into society, young adults with complex needs, special houses for Autistic residents and those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Units may include specially equipped bathrooms, bedrooms and training kitchens.


aerial image of construction site. Phot by Paul easton paul easton

Developers & Home Owners

Whether you are a developer or small builder we will work closely with you to achieve attractive, cost effective affordable housing.


Project scale

You may need to provide one affordable unit, several or a whole neighbourhood. Western Design Architects has experience of social housing of all sizes.

curved row of terrace housing

Over 30 Years of expert affordable housing design

Projects have included;

  • 23 affordable flats, Weymouth – approved 2023
  • 18 affordable houses, Curtis Fields, Weymouth -2023
  • 18 affordable flats in a 4 storey building, Weymouth – 2023
  • 23 affordable houses, New Road in Shaftesbury – approved 2021
  • 112 affordable houses & flats, Weymouth – approved 2021
  • 4 wheelchair accessible flats at Curtis Fields, Weymouth – 2020
  • 23 affordable houses, New Road in Shaftesbury – approved 2021
  • 15 affordable houses, Portland – approved 2018
  • 17 affordable houses, Portland – 2017
  • 6 affordable houses, Milton Abbas – 2014
  • 4 affordable houses, Iwerne Minster – 2007
  • 8 affordable flats, West Bay – 2006
  • 9 affordable houses & wheelchair accessible flats, Child Okeford – 2005
  • 14 affordable houses, Addison Close, Gillingham – 2004
  • 6 new affordable flats, Eling Steam Mill – 1997

Our clients include:

Sovereign Housing Association
Aster Group
New Forest District Council
North Dorset Housing Association
Dorset Council
Signpost / Synergy Housing Association

Welfare Dwellings Residential Care
Raglan Housing Association
Wessex Autistic Society
Spectrum Housing Association
Knightstone Housing Association
Bournemouth Churches

Magna Housing Association
The Shaftesbury Housing Association
East Dorset Housing Association
Boveridge House School
Wyatt Homes
Betterment Properties

affordable housing with large gardens
contemporary houses with curved porches from street view
modern brick apartments from street

Flats, Housing & Mixed use

Affordable housing can take the form of flats, houses or even part of a mixed use/ retail scheme to maximise the potential of any site.

front and side view of building under construction with scaffolding from road

semi detached house with timber cladding and a cat slide roof

Eco friendly and sustainable

Taking a ‘fabric first’ approach on all projects, we utilise the benefits of air source heat pumps, photo voltaic panels, sustainable drainage, rainwater recovery, landscape planting and passive solar gain in our projects.


Tenure Neutral policy

Where possible we promote a tenure neutral policy where affordable housing is dispersed and integrated into housing developments. These properties are designed to blend in with adjoining market housing.

visual aerial view of modern housing

Our Approach

Our design approach responds to the environment and is always sympathetic to the building’s context. We don’t have a standard architectural ‘style’, so we provide a bespoke solution to each project.

We collaborate with our clients to give them buildings which will stand the test of time. The result is cutting edge contemporary design or beautiful traditional buildings.


Find out more about our architectural services we offer to clients looking to build affordable housing.

attractive traditional red brick apartments

Residential Portfolio

Take a look at our range of Affordable Housing projects within our Residential Portfolio. Simply click the filters buttons to view our sub sectors.

Residential Portfolio
street scene visual of red brick housing along curved road

Continue your journey

Read more about the design stages and our architectural services on our comprehensive Services page or head back to our main Residential Sector page to view other types of commercial projects