Milton Keynes-based affordable rent to buy housing provider, Rentplus, has been shortlisted for the Innovator Partner award - part of the prestigious national 2019 UK Housing Awards.
Rentplus offers an accessible route to homeownership for lower or middle income working people who are unable to save for a deposit.
Working with local authorities, housebuilders and housing associations, Rentplus buys new homes, which it leases to housing associations who, in turn, allocate the homes to tenants.
Tenants pay an affordable rent which is substantially lower than market rents. The rent includes service charges and no maintenance responsibilities, which means occupants can save for their deposit and build a credit history to support a future mortgage application.
They then have the option to purchase their home after 5, 10, 15 or 20 years, at which time Rentplus gifts them a cash sum of ten per cent of the market value of the house towards their deposit.
The vast majority of Rentplus occupants come from social housing waiting lists. Up to 50 per cent move out of social housing into their affordable rent to buy home, freeing their council or housing association home up for those in greater need.
All applicants need to be working, and most are employed as ‘key workers’ – in the NHS and emergency services, education or the armed forces.
Steve Collins, the Chief Executive of Rentplus now has to present to a judging panel in March, before hearing whether Rentplus has won,
in May of this year.
Mr Collins said: “We are very excited to have been shortlisted for this national award.
“Rentplus helps local authorities to reduce their waiting lists. Providing access to affordable rent-to-buy schemes not only gives people on lower incomes, or without a deposit, a real opportunity to own their own home, but helps build communities that people want to live in.”
Rentplus has homes across the south of England. Locally it has homes in Earl’s Barton and Northampton. It plans to expand further into Northamptonshire and into Buckingham and Bedfordshire this year. More information can be found at www.rentplus-uk.com