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Plymouth City Council were an early adopter of Rentplus, being the first local authority torecognise the value of including affordable rent to buy homes in new developments, offeringmore affordable housing choices for local people, and particularly those who are unable to afford to buy their own home.
Redwood Heights is a development of 190 new properties being built by national housebuilder,
Barratt Homes. A total of twenty-seven Rentplus homes are available, consisting of twenty-two
2 bedroom houses and five 3 bedroom houses, meaning twenty-seven families will be one step closer to owning their own homes, with the confidence to put down roots and invest in their new community. This is Rentplus’ second scheme in the Plymouth area, with more currently in construction.
Tamar Housing are managing these properties on behalf of Rentplus. The first phase of 9 Rentplus properties is complete and the first tenants moved into their new homes on the day of the opening! The remainder of the homes in the first phase of the development will be occupied by the beginning of March. The remaining 18 properties will be completed in stages throughout the year, with the final homes due to be finished and occupied by the end of 2018.
The event enabled the new residents of Redwood Heights to meet their neighbours and celebrate the completion of their new homes, and included speeches from Gary Streeter, MP, Julie Barnett, Tamar Housing CEO, and Steve Collins, Rentplus CEO.
Through Rentplus’ unique model, the new tenants will have the opportunity to rent their homes at a below market affordable rent and save to buy their new homes in 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. When it comes to buy their home, Rentplus will gift them a 10% deposit to assist them with their purchase.
Gary Streeter, MP, said: “It is five years ago that Richard Pillar first discussed this innovative housing idea with me and I am delighted to see the first Rentplus affordable rent to buy homes in Plympton for myself and be part of the formal opening ceremony. I have believed for a long time that to solve the housing crisis we need to offer a range of different types of housing – and particularly affordable housing – to meet the different needs and aspirations of local people. Rentplus is one such innovative option, providing a much-needed genuine alternative for local people who are struggling to find a secure home to raise their family and help build the communities of the future. I look forward to seeing many more such developments within the South West and beyond.”
Steve Collins, Rentplus CEO, said: “We are pleased to be able to help local families achieve their first step on the housing ladder and are pleased to be continuing our relationship with Plymouth City Council to bring more affordable housing to the local community. Rentplus has been set up to create opportunities for people and families with limitedprospects of accessing affordable homes, let alone buy a home they can call their own. We know that average house prices both here and across the country are otherwise often beyond the reach of many hard working people.
“Our innovative model gives people the opportunity to fulfil their dreams of homeownership while offering them the safety and security of long term tenure and an affordable rent.
“The success of schemes like this will allow us to expand our presence in Plymouth, delivering more affordable homes for local families and contributing to inward investment into the local economy, creating sustainable communities and place-making.”
Julie Barnett, Tamar Housing Chief Executive, said: “It is great to see the collaboration between Plymouth City Council, Tamar Housing and Rentplus come to fruition. These new affordable homes will support working families in Plympton who aspire to own their own home but cannot currently do so. It was great to take time to welcome the new tenants to their new homes and celebrate taking their first crucial steps onto the property ladder.”
Richard Pillar, the founding Director of Rentplus, said “It is particularly rewarding for me to see what was a concept for the delivery of a new model of affordable housing becoming widely recognised as a mainstream product across the country. Plymouth City Council officers and members across political parties should be congratulated for taking the time to understand the model and the hurdles we have had to overcome to satisfy the institutional capital markets. This project that has proven itself out in Plymouth is set to raise over a Billion pounds over the next five years to deliver housing across the country to support young aspirant families struggling to get on to the housing ladder.”
The South West, and specifically Plymouth, is where Rentplus started; and it continues to be a target area for growth. The opening of the Redwood Drive development further demonstrates how Rentplus’ affordable rent to buy homes complement Plymouth City Council’s strategic housing plans.