A part of rural Devon is benefitting from an innovative scheme by Rentplus to deliver 7 affordable rent-to-buy homes at Meadow Haze, in the village of Woodbury, working in partnership with Cornerstone Housing who are managing the properties.
There are a total of 20 properties being built by Cavanna Homes in one of East Devon’s most picturesque spots with 1, 2, and 3 bedroom affordable homes.
The new scheme is designed to be a sympathetic addition to the local area, with detached and semi-detached homes in a variety of styles including brick, render, and timber-cladding, said the chief executive of Rentplus, Steve Collins.
“What a great time to celebrate this new development in East Devon, as part of the activities to promote Rural Housing Week, and the vital contribution that Rentplus is playing in our rural communities by providing more housing choice through our affordable rent-to-buy homes.
“Rentplus is designed for local people who can’t afford to get on the housing ladder, which is particularly true for young people in rural communities across the South West. Rentplus, is the leading provider of affordable rent-to-buy homes, an innovative model which allows people who are otherwise excluded from the housing ladder, usually due to the lack of a deposit, access to homes they can rent now and buy in the future.
"We work with local councils, central government, property developers, and businesses to deliver more homes that meet the range of needs and aspirations in our rural communities and across the country." said Mr Collins.
Rural Housing Week is an annual event which highlights rural housing issues and showcases housing associations and others’ innovative solutions for tackling them. Its mantra is that the provision of housing – and especially affordable housing – is vital for the survival of rural communities and services.
Rick Williams, chief executive of Cornerstone Housing, said: “The seven new rent-to-buy homes in Woodbury have enabled families to remain in the village they grew up in and to support the primary school and local businesses in the area. Affordable housing is a really important feature of village life.
“Working with Rentplus, we are helping to put the heart back in the rural communities and replace some of the affordable homes lost through the ‘Right-to-Buy” schemes.”
Rentplus, which has plans to build 5,000 new rent-to-buy homes by 2020, offers an accessible route to homeownership for low income working people who are unable to save for a deposit. Under this rent-to-buy model, tenants pay an affordable rent at 80% of market rents (including service charges) in the area, and have the opportunity to purchase their home in 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. Whilst renting, tenants have no maintenance responsibilities, giving them time to save for a deposit and build a credit history that will support mortgage applications. The tenants will receive a 10 per cent gifted deposit from Rentplus when they buy their home. Funded by institutional investors with no grant or public subsidy, Rentplus properties are let on 20-year operating leases to housing associations, like Cornerstone, who manage the homes and provide housing services for the tenants.