Rentplus, an innovative provider of affordable rent-to-buy homes, and King Street Housing Society (KSHS), a Cambridge based housing association, today announce the first affordable rent-to-buy homes in Cambridgeshire. The four new affordable rent-to-buy properties will form part of a 16 home development by Larkfleet Homes in Doddington, in the Fenland District Council area.
Once constructed the two and three bedroom homes at Doddington Grange will be made available to local people and managed by KSHS. This development is the first step in Rentplus’ plans for Cambridgeshire. The innovative businesses is proactively developing opportunities to work with local authorities, developers and housing associations across the region to fulfil its target of building 1,000 affordable rent-to-buy homes there by 2020.
In May, residents in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough elected their first Mayor unlocking millions of pounds worth of investment in the region’s economy from central government. The devolution deal means the new Mayor, James Palmer, has expansive powers which include setting local priorities for housing; he has already committed to accelerate delivery of 100,000 new homes across the Combined Authority in his 100 Day Plan. With research by the National Housing Federation showing that house prices are over 10 times the average salary in the region, it is good news that the Combined Authority will receive £170m to deliver new homes over five years including affordable housing, of which £70m is earmarked to boost housing supply in Cambridge.
Richard Connolly, Rentplus CEO, commented: “The housing crisis is particularly acute in Cambridgeshire and it is great to see the new Mayor’s commitment to alleviating it and supporting more local people on to the housing ladder. Reaching an agreement on this site is the first step in our plan to support his work as we intend to deliver 1,000 affordable rent-to-buy homes in the region by 2020. We are proud to be working with both Larkfleet and King Street on this development and are actively progressingmore opportunities with housebuilders to fulfil our ambitions in the area.”
Craig Glasper, KSHS Chief Executive, said: “
“We are delighted to get our first Rentplus affordable rent to buy scheme underway in Cambridgeshire. The Rentplus model is exactly the sort of innovative thinking we need in the area to enable local people toput down roots in their communities and retain key workers. We plan that this will be the first of many such announcements as part of our partnership with Rentplus to provide more affordable rent to buy homes.”
The Rentplus affordable rent-to-buy model enables those that are unable to save for a deposit a route into homeownership. In Cambridgeshire this includes key workers – teachers, nurses and care staff – who are being priced out by workers in other sectors. Rentplus’ model offers tenants an affordable intermediate rent – at least 20% less than the market rent in the area including service charges – and the ability to purchase their home in 5, 10, 15 or 20 years which gives tenants time to save to buy. Rentplus, which is funded by institutional investors and therefore requires no grant or public subsidy to deliver the affordable rent to buy homes, provides tenants with a 10% gifted deposit towards their deposit when they buy their homes.
Rentplus has completed affordable rent-to-buy homes at a number of sites around the country including Plymouth, Oxfordshire, South Hams, West Dorset and the Cotswolds with plans to develop many more over the coming year. Construction has already commenced on site in Doddington and the first rent-to-buy homes are expected to be available from January 2018.