House is a home with Rentplus at Chilmark Glade
“It will be somewhere we can call home, somewhere which we can make our own and not have the constant threat and worry about having to move.”
So says Paul, who will be one of the first people to move into a new affordable home with his family at Chilmark Glade in Shaftesbury.
Paul, partner Helen and their four-year-old daughter Freya were among the VIP guests at a special ceremony to mark the completion of the Rentplus and Tamar Housing properties on the housing development.
Twelve houses are being made available through the innovative Rentplus model. Tenants pay affordable rent below what they would pay in the private rented sector and have the opportunity to purchase their homes after five, 10, 15 or 20 years; plus they will be given a 10% gifted deposit by Rentplus to help their purchase.
At Chilmark Glade, every house must go to people with a local connection who are in employment. The model means that families are able to save money and, crucially, have security of tenure.
Having a secure roof over their heads is one of the major benefits, according to Paul.
“We have had two properties sold from under us while we’ve been renting. As well as the disruption of moving, there’s the fees, deposits and all the other costs that go with moving into a rented property
“We won’t have that with our new home. It gives us security and means Freya will be able to grow up in a place she knows and we can feel part of the community.”
Paul, who works as a systems and data manager, adds: “With the affordable rent it also means we can get some funds behind us and that is just a phenomenal opportunity for us to save and eventually get a mortgage and climb onto the housing ladder.
“We can’t wait to move in and start putting down roots.”
The new properties comprise a mix of one and two bedroom flats, and two bedroom houses. It is the first Rentplus scheme in the North Dorset District Council area and is Rentplus’ second scheme in Dorset overall, with 33 units already complete in Sherborne.
Jo Francis, who is the North Dorset District Council ward councillor for the area, said: “It’s an amazing opportunity for local people.
“It can be very difficult to save money for a deposit when you’re paying rent for a house or flat in the private rented sector.
“Rentplus gives local employed people the chance to save and eventually a buy a property, and with a gifted 10 per cent deposit.
“It also means that people will take pride in their property and look after it as they will have a vested interest in it.”
North Dorset District Council has worked with Rentplus, Tamar Housing and Persimmon Homes on the scheme.
Rentplus aims to deliver 5000 affordable rent to buy homes across the country by 2020.
Chilmark Glade first started over eight years ago and will include more than 650 homes once completed.