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First UK rent-to-buy scheme agreed

Words: Laura Edgar

An agreement has been reached that will see the UK’s first affordable rent-to-buy houses built in Plymouth.

Plymouth-based housing companies Persimmon Homes and Rentplus have signed an agreement to develop 19 new affordable rent-to-buy homes in the city aimed at tackling the region’s housing shortage and helping people into home ownership.

The properties at Derriford are part of a Persimmon Homes development consisting of 139 homes, and part of Plymouth City Council’s ‘Get Plymouth Building’ programme.

The Rentplus homes are available at up to 80 per cent of local market rent for an agreed period of between five and 20 years. When the tenancy has finished, the occupants are given the opportunity to buy the house and will be given a 10 per cent deposit by Rentplus to do so.

The affordable rent homes will be marketed and allocated to households by Tamar Housing Society through Devon Home Choice, which enable local households to be considered for affordable housing available in the area.

Rentplus chief executive Richard Connolly said: “With average house prices in the South-West now close to £230,000 and in some places more than £300,000 - and average earnings in the region among the lowest in England - we have an unbelievable housing situation where many houses cost more than 10 times the average annual household income.

“Rentplus is designed to make housing accessible for all those who wish to own their own home and we look forward to working with partners in Plymouth and across the country to help tackle the housing crisis.”

Rentplus is currently working with Plymouth City Council to deliver 500 homes over the next five years.