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Rentplus, an innovative provider of affordable rent-to-buy homes, and Tamar Housing, a leading housing association in the South West, announce the first affordable rent-to-buy homes in the village of Sparkwell on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. This latest partnership between the two organisations means they are now working together to deliver affordable housing on six sites across Devon and this is the second scheme of theirs to benefit residents in South Hams.
Wellbeck Manor on the edge of Sparkwell golf course is a 22 home development by Blue CedarHomes, specialist developers of housing for the over 55s. Seven of the homes on site will be Rentplus affordable rent-to-buy, four will be for affordable rent from Tamar Housing and the remaining 11 will be sold on the open market to buyers over the age of 55.
According to the National Housing Federation’s Home Truths report published earlier this year average wages for residents in South Hams are £23,613 while private rent is £767 per month. This means that for renters in the region nearly 40% of their annual pay is spent on housing which in turn makes it difficult for them to save for a deposit and get on the housing ladder.
The Rentplus rent-to-buy model was created to help overcome the deposit barrier by enabling tenants to pay an affordable intermediate rent which is at least 20% lower than market rents in anarea. Tenants are then able to save and work towards purchasing their homes in 5, 10, 15 or 20 years’ time. The tenants receive a 10 per cent gifted deposit from Rentplus to put towards their deposit when they buy their home.
Richard Connolly, Rentplus CEO, said: “This second development shows we are committed to delivering more affordable rent-to-buy homes in South Hams and Devon. The housing crisis here is significant and South Hams is becoming increasingly unaffordable for ordinary hard working people to get onto the housing ladder. These seven properties will be seven opportunities for local families to realise their dream of homeownership.
“In the current climate it is essential that there are a range of housing options and that these are more innovative and flexible to reflect the different needs of the people they are intended for. Affordable rent-to-buy means that tenants have the security of a long-term tenure, an affordable rent, saving pathway and ultimately the ability to own their own home.”
Julie Barnett, Chief Executive, Tamar Housing, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Rentplus to deliver our second affordable rent-to-buy scheme in South Hams where the escalating costs of private rent are make it impossible for people to save for a deposit and fulfil their dreams of homeownership. Providing these affordable rent to buy homes alongside the affordable rented homes that Tamar is providing means we are able to provide a range of housing options for local people who otherwise are finding it difficult to find housing that enables them to continue to live in their community.
“The housing situation in the South West of England is problematic and it’s important that innovative solutions like Rentplus are available to provide additional pathways to affordable homeownership and security, enabling local families to thrive in their local communities. We are looking forward to continuing to work with Rentplus on this and other schemes in the region.”
Rentplus has completed affordable rent-to-buy homes at a number of sites across the country including Plymouth, West Dorset, Oxfordshire, South Hams and the Cotswolds with plans to develop many more over the year. Construction has already commenced on site in Sparkwell and the first rent-to-buy homes are expected to be available in Spring 2018.