Winchester Housing Trust are delighted to announce a new development of affordable housing in Whitehill and Bordon through our partnership with Rentplus.
Rentplus is to offer award-winning no deposit, affordable rent to buy properties for the first time in Hampshire. The houses will be on the Taylor Wimpey Dukes Quarter housing development in Whitehill & Bordon.
Originally called Prince Philip Barracks and used as a training base for the British Army, Dukes Quarter is part of one of the largest regeneration projects in the country There are 3,350 new homes planned, alongside new infrastructure including schools, a health hub, new employment opportunities, shops, a cinema, leisure centre, and 150 acres of green space. The site’s heritage will be celebrated, with many of the garrison’s landmark buildings being restored and integrated into it.
This phase of the development will comprise 190 new homes, of which 73 Rentplus properties are for offer through its unique rent to buy proposition.
Rentplus’ no deposit, affordable rent-to-buy model offers an accessible route to homeownership for ordinary working people unable to save for a deposit or access other forms of affordable home ownership defined by the National Planning Policy Framework, including shared ownership, which requires a substantial deposit.
The project sees a new partnership between Rentplus, the leading provider of affordable rent-to-buy homes, and Winchester Housing Trust, who will manage the units for Rentplus.
The new partnership offers an affordable pathway to homeownership for working families on low or middle incomes. It benefits those unable to save the large deposits required to access other types of housing, with many of the first tenants expected to be key workers.
Residents can move into a brand new home without having to pay an initial deposit, and pay an affordable rent for the duration of their lease. Leases run for a minimum of 5 years and up to 20 years, giving residents time to clear debts and save towards a deposit. At year 5 and at key points during their lease, residents have the opportunity to purchase the property: at this point, Rentplus will gift them 10% of the purchase price towards their deposit.
The scheme is the first time that Rentplus is working with East Hampshire District Council and national house builder Taylor Wimpey. For Rentplus, the partnership marks another big step in the journey to deliver its award-winning affordable rent-to-buy homes in every English county.
Rentplus is funded by institutional investors, providing affordable rent-to-buy homes with no grant or public subsidy. Properties are managed by local housing associations, like Winchester Housing Trust, with 20-year operating leases. Our partners benefit from having an extended tenure offer and increased rental income from the homes.
Applicants should be registered on the Hampshire Home Choice scheme to stand the best chance of being allocated a Rentplus home. Applicants should be in full time employment and a financial assessment will be carried out before ascertaining whether an applicant will be appropriate for a 5, 10, 15 or 20 year purchase plan. One of the benefits to Rentplus is that poor historic credit is by no means a barrier to acceptance as tenants have a minimum of five years to be able to rebuild their credit history.
Steve Collins, CEO at Rentplus commented: “This is exciting for key workers or those others on lower or middle incomes in Hampshire, unable to save a deposit, to get onto the housing ladder.
“Raising a deposit has become the biggest barrier to home ownership – even a 5% deposit is beyond the realms of possibility for those people in society we have come to rely on – our NHS workers, our teachers, our emergency service personnel. Unless they have access to the bank of mum and dad, if they are renting privately, they are unlikely to be able to scrape together the £15,000-£30,000 demanded by high street lenders.
“Moving into a brand new home without paying a deposit, paying affordable rent for five years plus is a real opportunity to save, build a good credit rating and begin to engage with the community. Being gifted 10% of the sale price towards the deposit when they’re ready to buy is an added benefit and incentive.
“We’re very excited to see this offered in Hampshire. We’re determined to make this available across every county in the country.”
Andrew Simpson from Winchester Housing Trust added: “This is our first project with Rentplus and we are delighted to be able to offer this unique route to homeownership.
“Not only will it help the Trust to grow by extending the tenure of properties we offer, but we are now part of an unique nationwide offer, which is going to benefit our key workers and others less able to raise the deposit but able to afford the rent and mortgage.”
James Child, Project Lead at Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, said: “We want to ensure that the delivery of new housing for local people and those moving to the town includes a range of different tenures and price points. Sustainable housing is being built across the town for private sale and affordable housing, including social rent, shared ownership and Rentplus. Giving people the ability to rent their home with the option to buy is incredibly important and we’re pleased this agreement with Rentplus is in place.”
Cllr Richard Millard, Leader of East Hampshire District Council, said: “The delivery of homes in Whitehill & Bordon is an integral part of how we are transforming the town and bringing the infrastructure needed to make it a green, healthy and connected town.
“I am delighted to see these new properties made available through the Rentplus scheme which will make them more affordable and more accessible to our new residents.”
Mary O’Brien, Sales and Marketing Director at Taylor Wimpey South Thames, said: “Dukes Quarter is a fantastic place to call home and we’re delighted to be working with Rentplus to open up opportunities for more people to join this brand new community.”
The Rentplus homes comprise:
20 x 1 bed flats
41 x 2 bed flats
7 x 2 bed houses
2 x 3 bed houses
3 x 4 bed houses
Residents should be able to start to take occupation in this phase of the development in late December 2020/Spring 2021, with all tenants moving into their new homes by Spring 2022.