More than 1,000 'affordable' rent-to-buy homes could be built in Cambridgeshire by 2020

PUBLISHED: 15:35 06 January 2017 | UPDATED: 15:35 06 January 2017

More than 1,000 ‘affordable’ rent-to-buy homes could be built in Cambridgeshire by 2020.

More than 1,000 'affordable' rent-to-buy homes could be built in Cambridgeshire by 2020.

Archant

More than 1,000 'affordable' rent-to-buy homes could be built in Cambridgeshire by 2020.

Who are Rentplus?

It is a for-profit organisation which was set up in 2013 to help ease the housing crisis at the affordable end of the market.

It leases homes to housing associations which are then let to those on the council housing waiting list but who are judged to have too high an income for traditional social housing and want to get on the housing ladder.

Tenants pay “an affordable intermediate rent” and have the opportunity to purchase their home in five, 10, 15 or 20 years.

The homes are let at 80 per cent of market rent and at periodic intervals tenants are offered the chance to buy their home with a 10 per cent “gifted deposit”.

Rentplus is partnering with Cambridge-based King Street Housing Society (KSHS) to deliver the first such homes in Cambridgeshire.

The company has identified four potential sites in Fenland and South Cambridgeshire.

KSHS, set up by Cambridge University 50 years ago to provide affordable housing, will manage the homes.

In the city itself home prices have rocketed with average prices now up to 10 times average salaries – a situation that has put home owning out of the reach of many.

Rentplus believes the devolution deal in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will offer new opportunities “to shape the type of housing it needs.”

Rentplus chief executive officer Richard Connolly said: “Our new partnership will form the foundation of our ambitious plans for Cambridgeshire.

“Our goal is to deliver over 5,000 rent-to-buy homes by 2020 and it is our intention that over a 1,000 of these will be in the region.

“These homes will make a vital contribution to ensure that the area’s key workers – teachers, nurses and care staff - have an affordable pathway to homeownership.

“The recent devolution deal means that local officials have more power than ever before to get their housing mix right which means using new types of tenures to meet local housing need.

“Rent-to-buy is an innovative model that gives families who are just about managing the opportunity to fulfil their dreams of homeownership while offering them the safety and security of a long-term tenure.”

Craig Glasper, KSHS chief executive, said: “At King Street we are always on the lookout for innovative new tenure models that can best meet local housing needs.

“The Rentplus rent-to-buy homes are exactly this. They will enable our city to meet the homeownership aspirations of families and key workers at an unprecedented scale.”

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