I was recently asked by a close friend of mine: “What have you achieved in the twelve months you have been CEO of Rentplus?”. This got me thinking: so what has happened over the last year?

At Rentplus we are very lucky. Every day, we tend to take for granted that everything we do at work, however small our actions, makes a real difference to the people we work for - those working families who live in a Rentplus home. 

Our journey over the last twelve months has proven to be an example of how many things that happen each day come together to deliver positive outcomes, over time.

As an organisation we have been through an extraordinary journey over the past year.  Not only have we grown the business, building on the work that our Plymouth office started, but we have opened two new offices - in Milton Keynes and London, and we have redesigned the way we deliver our business, and I hope that this is reflected in improvements to the way we engage with our partners.

Importantly, for our partners, our Rentplus families, and our investors, we have increased our contracted schemes significantly, and we are pushing ahead with a significant programme of engaging with key people across local and national government, including policy makers, housing association partners and politicians. 

We have increased our funding potential with a ‘Triple B’ rating which provides certainty of access to investment funding through established funders.  We have £2bn of funding to invest in building new homes and we want to see house builders, housing associations and local authorities think of Rentplus first, making us the first choice when they commit to building new social housing, and creating fantastic well balanced places where people can thrive. 

Rentplus is now in a very good place to continue the momentum and to move at pace to invest in new developments.

We are actively looking for partners to help us deliver our social objective vision ‘to work with families, our partners and stakeholders to pioneer an innovative pathway to home ownership addressing the nation’s housing need’.  

We will continue to put pressure on local and national government to help us realise our dream. To help us with this, we are looking to extend the number of local authorities who will join us to deliver this vision.  Those that are committing help us by confirming their intentions to work with us to deliver a better housing offer. Their commitment gives confidence to developers that we can deliver in that area. It helps us with driving volume for our Registered Providers such as housing association partners who want to do more but are increasingly challenged due to the lack of immediate investment available.

In planning our future, it is important that we don’t lose sight of what we have already achieved.  Through our programme, in a short space of time, Rentplus has changed the lives of significant numbers of people and families, providing them with the chance to enjoy a new home that they would not ordinarily have access to, delivering their dream of becoming homeowners.

I am really looking forward to the next twelve months, building on the success to date, delivering on our promises, and I hope you will help us on this journey. 

If you want to partner with us to deliver affordable rent to buy homes for families, drop me an email on scollins@rentplus-uk.com and if you are in Milton Keynes, do call us or drop in and see us. 

Kind regards

Steve
September 2018

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Steve's Blog
October 2017

‘’Rentplus UK Ltd, the leading provider of affordable rent-to-buy homes, has announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive. Steve Collins joined 02 October 2017. Steve has been hired to build on the business’ successes of the past three years as it charts a course for significant growth.  He brings extensive leadership experience to the business having held a number of senior positions within both the public and voluntary sectors. He is a housing specialist and most recently served as the Homes and Communities Agency’s Head of Area for the East of England”.

Steve said “I am delighted to have secured this very important role and look forward to working with the Rentplus Board and the team to deliver much needed affordable rent-to-buy homes across the country. I want to take this opportunity to thank Richard Connolly for all his hard work in building the business so far and look forward to working alongside Richard until the end March” 

Our ambition is to ensure that privately funded affordable rent-to-buy is included as a mainstream tenure on housing developments. This will ensure broader housing options are available for all and many more working people have a pathway to homeownership.

The Rentplus board has approved and support the delivery of an ambitious business plan. We continue to receive significant interest and support from investors, local authorities, housebuilders and high profile political support from MPs, Ministers and Lords across the political spectrum.

Our dedicated team has ensured delivery of our first contracted and completed schemes in Plymouth, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire. We will shortly be contracting on many more developments across the south west, south, central and east of England. 

We are currently working with many housebuilders – national, regional and local SME developers to deliver high quality additional homes providing, greater choice of tenure to local households currently unable to access either traditional social housing or low cost homeownership such as shared equity and shared ownership tenures or even Help to Buy –due to a lack of sufficient deposit or credit history.

We have also received heartening support from cross-party MPs, Lords and successive Housing Ministers. We are particularly proud to have been invited and attend a meeting at No 10 Downing Street to explain in detail how the Rentplus model and the Affordable rent to buy tenure which is attracting significant institutional private investment and supporting the Government in achieving the target of 1m homes by 2020 and a further 0.5m homes by 2022.

We now have six Housing Association partners –Tamar, Harrow Churches, Cornerstone, Green Square, Housing Solutions and Wellingborough Homes working with us in partnership to grow, diversify and deliver more affordable homes locally. Many more Housing Associations and now Councils and ALMOs are progressing to join our framework.

Our case studies demonstrate the significant impact that Rentplus and our partners are having in transforming lives, prospects and well-being.

We are currently lobbying to secure a specific Affordable Housing definition for Affordable rent to buy as part of the Government’s review and are supported in this by many Local Authorities, Housing Associations, MPs, former and current Ministers. This has also been the subject of a Private Members Bill and positive responses to PMQs.

As more and more Local Authorities embrace Rentplus, the next 12 months will see Rentplus grow significantly in terms of delivery of new contracts and homes and geographically across the country, building upon the firm foundations laid over the past few years. 

Steve Collins, Rentplus CEO