Residents in the South Hams are set to benefit from the first affordable rent-to-buy homes in the area, providing the opportunity for six local households to one day own their own home.
The properties will be bought to the area by Rentplus, an innovative provider of rent-to-buy homes, and Tamar Housing, a leading housing association in the South West. The six new properties comprise of four two bedroom homes and two one bedroom flats and are part of Tamar & Provincial Properties’ Langdon View development where a further 20 homes will be available for private sale.
The South Hams is significantly affected by housing affordability evidenced by the National Housing Federation’s recent Home Truths report which identified that house prices are 14.3 times the average wage in the area. This impacts on the opportunities for local people to take the first step onto the housing ladder and for employers to retain and attract talent.
The Rentplus’ rent-to-buy model has been developed to help address this issue. With Rentplus, tenants pay an affordable intermediate rent which is 80% of the market rent in the local area (including service charges), they then have the opportunity to purchase their home after 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. While they rent, tenants have no maintenance responsibilities, which means they have time to save for a deposit and build a credit history that will support their mortgage application. The tenants also receive a 10 per cent gifted deposit from Rentplus when they buy their home.
Richard Connolly, Rentplus CEO, said: “We are very excited to be announcing our first rent-to-buy homes in the South Hams. Working with South Hams District Council we hope to give many more local families and working people the opportunity to fulfil their dreams of homeownership. Our model offers them the safety and security of a long-term tenure, an affordable rent, saving pathway and ultimately the chance to own a home in an area where they have already put down roots.”
“The Government’s recent Housing White Paper recognises the important role that affordable rent-to-buy and innovative housing solutions play in delivering the right homes in the right places. This first scheme will ensure Wembury remains attractive for people to live, work and invest in their local communities. We also have ambitions for further Rentplus homes across the South Hams.”
Julie Barnett, Chief Executive, Tamar Housing, said: “The gap between wages and house prices in the South Hams is just one example of the struggles families across the South West experience to get on the property ladder. Many want to own their own home, but all too often find themselves stuck in the private rental sector where they have no hope of saving for a deposit. These new rent-to-buy homes in Wembury will offer people an affordable rent, the chance to save money and the opportunity to purchase their new home in the future. We look forward to working with both Rentplus and Tamar & Provincial Properties to expand the model’s use to fit the region’s needs.”
Rentplus currently has tenanted homes in Plymouth, West Dorset, and the Cotswolds, in addition to planned new developments in Oxfordshire, Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and across Devon, with many more over this year across the UK.
The rent-to-buy homes in Wembury will be available in April 2017 and information on how to apply for them can be found at www.tamarhs.org/rentplusapp .