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For the first time, Rentplus is offering affordable rent to buy homes in Northumberland, in partnership with Northumberland County Council.
Five 3 bed houses and four 2 bed apartments are to be offered for sale through the affordable rent to buy scheme in Tantallon Fields, Longframlington. They are built by Northumberland based developer, Tantallon Homes.
Rentplus removes the need for an upfront deposit for aspirant homeowners. Tenants move into the house they will buy. They pay no initial deposit and pay an affordable rent (which includes all repairs and service charges) for between 5 and 20 years whilst they save. When they are ready to buy, they receive a gifted sum of 10% from Rentplus towards their savings, and unlike Shared Ownership and other schemes such as First Homes, tenants will be buying 100% of their home.
Steve Collins, CEO of Rentplus explains why Rentplus is needed: “With the average semi-detached and terraced house price for buyers in Longframlington between £181,000 and £389,000, key and essential workers and other first time buyers on lower or middle incomes are locked out of home ownership as they are unable to save enough for a deposit, even though they could afford mortgage repayments.
“Our affordable rent to buy homes provide a much more accessible route onto the housing ladder for those on lower and middle incomes than Shared Ownership as it doesn’t require any upfront deposit. Our scheme completely removes the deposit barrier, opening up home ownership to renters living or working in the area.
“Rentplus turns local renters into homeowners.”
Northumberland County Councillor Colin Horncastle, cabinet member for Looking after the Environment added: “It is wonderful to see these quality new homes being provided to help local people move towards home ownership.
“We know many people aspire to buy their own home but are unable to save up enough for a deposit as their wages are absorbed with rent and bills.
“It’s a vicious cycle.
“The Rentplus model is unique, and forward thinking and is another boost for affordable housing in Northumberland which will be life changing for those tenants who move into these properties.”
Developer Craig McClenn commented: “Tantallon Homes are proud to work in partnership with Rentplus to provide high quality affordable housing in the stunning village of Longframlington.
“It is very important to Tantallon Homes that local people have access to a mixture of tenure properties that are within budget not only in the initial rental or mortgage costs but also going forward with monthly utility and maintenance expenses. All our properties are built to a high standard and incorporate and comply with the latest energy efficiency products and regulations.”
Funded by institutional investment, new homes are bought from developers either as part of their affordable housing agreement or outside of it. By injecting additional private funding into the affordable housing sector, councils can focus existing grant funding on delivering more homes for social rent.
Nearly 60 local authorities are already offering Rentplus across the country with the majority of Rentplus residents being key or essential workers. All have a local connection, living and working locally. The first tenants moved into homes in the south west in 2016 and in 2021, all the homes in the five year plan were purchased by residents, buying 100% of their home. When the 10% sum from Rentplus was added to their savings, some had over 20% equity in their home from day one,
Rentplus is currently working to identify more new developments in Northumberland to offer more affordable rent to buy homes.
To register an interest or find out more about the Rentplus affordable rent to buy homes in Longframlington, email [email protected].