A new solution to local housing needs
Rentplus has very strong relationships with local authorities and in particular those with aspirations for growth. The credibility of high-level financial backing offered by Rentplus means that affordable housing can be delivered quickly and in volume to realise strategic priorities.
Building new affordable homes will alleviate housing waiting lists and provide much-needed developments in regions across the country, as well as replenishing housing stock.
By utilising the Rentplus model, local authorities can benefit from a significant increase in the number of homes available at affordable rents. There is also the potential to add value to council-owned land through inclusion of the tenure.
Rentplus promotes mixed tenure developments and Rentplus villages to achieve a step change in delivery of affordable housing. We have a commitment to neighbourhood planning and establishing strong communities who will take pride in their homes and the local area. As properties will be managed by partner housing associations, let at affordable rents to tenants aspiring to home ownership, local authorities can be assured their strategic housing and economic priorities will be addressed.
These developments can also kick-start existing approvals which may have stalled due to the changing financial climate, as well as stimulating the local economy through new jobs, training opportunities and boosting the supply chain.
Using the Rentplus model will also allow local authorities to benefit from New Homes Bonuses.
East of England LGA
"In the East of England, we have a growing economy, and a really significant need for quality new housing to support that growth. Rentplus offers local authorities a new and realistic way to provide affordable housing in support of working people, with a route into home ownership. I look forward to seeing it used to accelerate development on major sites, and to supporting our market towns by attracting and retaining young families into those communities."
Cecilia Tredget, Managing Director, East of England LGA
Sedgemoor District Council
“I am really excited about the Rentplus housing product. I think it offers a fresh, desirable and complementary affordable housing option for hardworking local people to find a home in a place they want to live, at a price they can realistically afford.
“Rentplus...will work alongside the delivery of the council’s traditional affordable housing supply, offering genuine additionality in supply.
“I believe that Rentplus provides a welcomed opportunity for lots of people who aspire to own their own home and, with support, can achieve home ownership rather than a life in expensive and insecure private-rented accommodation. Furthermore, it also provides a cost-effective alternative to shared ownership for households that do not have a deposit to purchase.
“We are confident that our relationship with Rentplus will prove successful as we work towards the delivery of 400+ new homes over the next few years.”
Duncan Harvey, Affordable Housing Policy & Development Manager - Sedgemoor District Council
Plymouth City Council
“We are pleased to be working with Rentplus to bring forward a new model of housing delivery aimed at supporting aspirant first time buyers as they struggle to find a home of their own.
“Rentplus is demonstrating its ability to secure ethical institutional funding into the provision of affordable housing. It has also adopted an exemplary approach to community engagement which is increasingly important as we work with local communities to make the case for new homes.
“Our Plan for Homes has the ambition to deliver 1,000 new homes a year for the next five years, accelerating housing supply by delivering a range and mix of well-designed greener homes to meet the city’s needs. Rentplus will complement our growth ambitions by creating 500 homes that people find attractive and affordable to live in.”
Paul Barnard, Asst Director for Strategic Planning & Infrastructure - Plymouth City Council
"Pioneers in delivering innovative affordable rent to buy housing for aspiring home owners. Tetlow King Planning are proud to be assisting Rentplus in making affordable home ownership a reality for many people who don't want to be caught in the spiral of renting in the unsecure private rented sector."
James Stacey, Director - Tetlow King Planning
“Rentplus aligns well with national planning policies and guidance that seek to increase delivery of affordable housing (and growth in general), particularly paragraphs 47 and 50 of the NPPF. Rentplus cannot be defined as solely affordable rent or intermediate housing, as such a change to the NPPF definition would help to support new models such as this. LPAs preparing plans or making decisions on planning applications can integrate and support the provision of Rentplus affordable housing at their discretion, as many have done already (as have the HCA via a Short Form Agreement).
Right to Buy, Help to Buy and Starter Home products require applicants to have a deposit or to have the means to get a deposit together. If someone is currently in social rented property or the private rented sector and can’t rely on a deposit from their parents, a viable solution for the ‘missing middle’ or ‘generation rent’ can be Rentplus. To help bring forward affordable products like this a step change in delivery is required capable of providing flexible tenures in response to changes in national policy.
Rentplus benefits from institutional investment and so is not reliant on subsidy or grant. Rentplus can be scaled up more quickly than traditional social housing delivered by LAs or RPs who are constrained by borrowing limits. The Rentplus village concept can provide affordable housing in the first or early phases or take on serviced sites and plots delivered directly with their own contractor partners. For products such as Rentplus to achieve the scalability desired changes are required to national policy and guidance to allow products such as this to help bring forward a step change in delivery, capable of filling and exceeding the gaps created by the proposed planning, housing and welfare reforms.
Rentplus is designed to be attractive to the private sector and acceptable to LAs and RPs. Rentplus’ funders like the fact that the products are let on a 20 year FRI lease as it means they are regulated within the social housing sector and administered by RPs. The future strategy is to form a national network of small RPs to share best practice. In instances where an RP is likely to lose much of its stock the Rentplus product can offer a solution to continue delivery of pipeline stock by directly working with the respective RPs to identify a revised and appropriate tenure split. Rentplus would seek to work with smaller RPs and allow them to grow organically off- balance sheet, receiving a management fee from Rentplus for administering the Rentplus affordable units. The model is simpler to traditional affordable housing, RP partners would provide financial advisers to help tenants set up mini-cash ISAs and to demonstrate creditworthiness.
For Rentplus to reach its full potential, we recommend that complementary policies in tenancy strategies and RP allocation and exchange policies align with policies in Local Plans. Rentplus’ mixture of rental income and capital return makes it an attractive investment product for pension funds and ethical investors. The Rentplus model can be grown organically at scale and (through further investment locally) is capable of creating a virtuous circle of investment in the Local Authority area. For these reasons we are of the view that Rentplus aligns well with the national planning policy and would help to meet local objectively assessed needs.”
David Carlisle, Principal Planner, Strategic Planning and Urban Design - AECOM
South Cambridgeshire District Council
“We know that people in the district have a very wide range of housing needs. Clearly, we have people in need of social rented homes as they are not able to, or may not want to, get on the housing ladder. However, we also have a huge number of people who are the squeezed middle. These families often have a good household income but are struggling to afford to buy their first home often because saving a deposit is difficult. We are working really hard to find innovative ways to address the problem and warmly welcome Rentplus’ plans that will help local people in the area.”
Cllr Lynda Harford, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing