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Study gives fresh hope for families

An innovative type of affordable housing scheme with homes in Dorset is giving families fresh hope of owning their own home, according to a new report.

Rentplus has carried out a study of its tenants in properties across the south west, including those in Sherborne.

The organisation works with housing associations to provide homes for people at affordable rents at 80 per cent of the market rate to give them the chance to save for a deposit.

After a period of five, 10, 15 or 20 years they then have the option of purchasing their property – along with the boost of a gifted deposit from Rentplus of 10 per cent of the property’s market value.

The Plymouth-based organisation’s ‘Our Tenants’ report analyses tenant data from a sample of 106 households, which are home to 300 people.

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It found that the typical prospective Rentplus tenant would be a hard-working couple in their late 20s or early 30s with children.

They:

 

Live on below average household incomes

May well work for the NHS

Live in social housing or the private rented sector prior

Are unable to save for a deposit

Are on the council housing waiting list but are unlikely to receive an affordable home because of their level of house need

Will be aspirational homeowners but have little money for a deposit, few savings and no spare income

 

The report says: “Rentplus can give this family a real chance by providing them with the quality home they need, now when they need it, and in the area that they want to live.

“It gives them a real opportunity to save for a deposit while paying cheaper rents and support from their local housing association to maximise their income and savings.

“With the benefit of an extra 10% gifted deposit from Rentplus when they come to buy their home, this is a real and genuine opportunity for them to realise their aspiration and eventually own their own home, something that would not have been possible for this family any other way.”

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Rentplus is available to households on council housing lists who wish to become home owners, those registered with choice based lettings and Help to Buy agents, or persons in private rented accommodation with limited or no ability to save for a deposit.

All Rentplus homes are sold after 20 years. If they are not purchased by the occupier or the housing association, houses will be sold on the open market, with a percentage of net proceeds paid to the local authority for future affordable housing.

Its new report also reveals:

 

The average age of a tenant is 31 although ages range from 20 to 53

Overall the average income of a Rentplus household is £31,500

Over two thirds of Rentplus properties have provided homes for families with children

Some 17% of households are young couples without children

Half of all tenants comes from private rented accommodation while 27% were previously living with family and 20% were in social housing

 

A study of occupations shows that most tenants are in NHS, retail and manufacturing followed by engineering and then care and support.

Rentplus also has a scheme at Chilmark Glade in Shaftesbury although figures from these homes were not included in the study.

Visit the Rentplus website for more details about the initiative and to find out more. Don’t forget to sign our Home Ownership Register for all of the latest information and new homes for rent and sale in north, south and west Dorset.