New partnership between Rentplus and South Devon Rural Housing boosts home-ownership dreams for Devonians

May 13, 2022

Rentplus-UK and South Devon Rural Housing Association (SDR) are forming a new partnership to offer more affordable rent to buy homes across the whole of Devon, plus parts of the east side of Dorset and Somerset.

Rentplus is a proven affordable rent-to-buy scheme operating across England. Tenants move in with no deposit and pay affordable rent for between five and 20 years. This gives them time to save a deposit and build a good credit rating. When they are ready to buy, Rentplus gifts them 10% of the purchase price to boost their savings and enable them to purchase 100% of their home.

In 2021, the first renters who moved into Rentplus homes without any deposit in Plymouth and Sherborne were able to purchase their home after just five years. Many had managed to save a significant sum, which together with the gifted 10%, meant they had equity of 20-25% in their home from day one and could access a high street mortgage.

There has been much debate and research about the housing crisis in the South West and the need for affordable housing to be made available to help address job vacancies in the region. Rentplus homes have proven to be very popular to, the key and essential worker demographic, with over 50% of Rentplus homes across the country allocated to this group.

Rentplus has already identified several sites across Devon where it might initially offer nearly 50 affordable rent-to-buy homes to deliver home ownership for local working people in partnership with SDR.

Steve Collins, Rentplus CEO, said: “This new partnership between Rentplus and SDR means more affordable rent-to-buy housing will be available to local aspiring home-owners.

“For many, especially those paying high private rents, there is little or no ability to save for a deposit, although ironically they could probably afford monthly mortgage repayments.

“This innovative, award-winning scheme gives people the chance to clear debts, build a strong credit history and to save money, whilst offering them the safety and security of a long-term tenure. At the end of their tenure, when they buy, we gift them 10% of their homes’ value to boost their savings. We look forward to delivering more affordable rent-to-buy homes in South Devon, turning local renters into homeowners”.

Christine Candlish, Chief Executive at SDR, added: “We’re delighted to be working with Rentplus and are looking forward to helping local people realise their home ownership aspirations.

“We know that Devonians have a wide range of housing needs. We have people who see social rented homes as a solution because they don’t think they are able to get on the housing ladder. The Rentplus scheme is an innovative way to address this, as it allows people to move in with no deposit and pay affordable rent for set periods. At the end of their tenure – either 5, 10, 15 or 20 year terms – they can buy the home they are living in with a gifted sum.

“Having more Rentplus homes in Devon will help local people to stay living and working in the area. This supports delivery of a key objective of SDR’s corporate strategy, enabling working people to create homes where they want to live and bring up their children, whilst helping to nurture stable communities in the longer term”.

The partners will work together to allocate the homes through Devon Home Choice, the local authority lettings system, and will announce the schemes as they become ready.

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