The current restrictions on people moving around has seen a slowing down in the housing market. But Coronovirus is not going to stop the Cox family from moving in to their brand new affordable rent to buy home. Rhea Cox, partner Craig, and their two children, Zachary, aged 7, and Evie, 18 months, took possession of their new home in Langport last week with a safe handover of keys. They're moving in today, doing all the removals - safely - themselves.
The family’s brand new home is a 3 storey 3 double-bedroomed house which they have acquired without needing to pay a penny’s deposit.
The couple will pay an affordable rent for 5 years, before being given the option to buy the home they are living in, saving on future moving costs. And when they do buy, Rentplus will gift them 10% of the house value towards their deposit.
This is all possible because Rentplus, the country’s award winning affordable rent to buy provider, has been working in partnership with Tamar Housing, South Somerset District Council, and Persimmon Homes to provide ten new affordable rent to buy homes at Parrett Gardens, Langport. The first five homes were completed at the end of 2019 and the Cox family are some of the last families to take possession.
Rhea says the family is very excited to be moving into their new home. The house they moved from was privately rented from a pub landlord who needed it back to house the bar manager. “I’d heard about Rentplus some years ago, but once we’d been given an indication that our landlord wanted possession, I contacted Tamar Housing. The chance to have a brand new home, with a garden, without needing to raise a huge deposit was very appealing.
“The whole process has gone smoothly. We were lucky that our old tenancy overlapped, and so we could arrange for carpets to be laid before, and we could stagger our moving in,” Rhea added.
The family have documented their journey on Instagram!
South Somerset District Council was keen that applicants had a local connection with the area, and for Rhea it is very sentimental link. “My family live in Langport, and from my house I can see the house my great grandmother lived in.
“Tamar were very helpful to us and once we bid on the house, we were quickly allocated it.
“There’s no way we could afford to privately rent a house like this – Somerset is really expensive and we’d be looking at £1,200 a month at least. Instead, Rentplus has given us a lovely new home, and we will be saving money each month. And the bonus is that when we’re ready to buy, Rentplus will give us 10% of the sale price towards our deposit. In the meantime, we know how much rent we need to pay, and we have no maintenance costs for the house, as they’re included in the rent.”
Steve Collins, CEO at Rentplus welcomed the family to their new home. “I’m so pleased Rhea and her family are able to move in.
“Despite Coronovirus, Rentplus and our partners, Persimmon, Tamar Housing, and South Somerset District Council have continued to work hard.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has made this happen for the Cox family and we all hope they will be very happy in their new home.”
Jo Calvert, Specialist – Strategic Housing, Service Delivery to South Somerset District Council, said: “This is yet another success story for the people of South Somerset. I am delighted that Rentplus in collaboration with Persimmon has been able to bring forward a scheme that helps to achieve a balanced range of opportunities for local families. Previously reliant on the rented market, this scheme will deliver real opportunities to take a stake in affordable home ownership for those families able to take that next step up the ladder.”
Robert Hart, director in charge of Persimmon Homes South West added: “The commitment from our colleagues throughout this most challenging period, both to the business and to the wider communities in which we work, has been exceptional and I would like to thank them all for their unstinting support, and the team here is pleased Rentplus is able to welcome new tenants as a result.”
Julie Barnett, CEO of partner Tamar Housing added: “It is very rewarding for Tamar, as a not-for-profit housing association, to be a Rentplus partner and support local families to move into good quality affordable rented, new homes knowing they will have an opportunity in the future to buy their property with the help of a gifted deposit.
“Tamar and Rentplus have helped nearly 250 households in the South West to achieve this opportunity to rent, live and eventually buy their own homes.”
Rentplus won the 2019 National Housing Award for the Most Innovative Home Ownership Product and has been shortlisted for six other building and planning awards this year.