Foundations, Liverpool City Council’s housing company, is to launch a rent-to-buy scheme so that people can get onto the housing ladder and eventually own a home of their own.
The company, one of the flagship housing polices for Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, will launch the initiative with a pilot project involving 14 new homes in the city.
Under the scheme, people will be able to rent a home at 80% of the market rent, so they can save the other 20% towards a deposit in order to get a mortgage to buy the property.
They will be given an option to buy the home after 12 months and up to five years at a fair market price based on an independent valuation at the time of purchase.
The scheme will be available to people who live or work in Liverpool and are either first time buyers or people who have had to sell a home because of a relationship breakdown. Other criteria include being in work but unable to buy a home on the open market because the household is unable to save a sufficient deposit due to living costs.
Subject to agreement by Liverpool City Council’s cabinet at its meeting on 21 June, 14 new family homes at Harrington Row, Park Street, Dingle, will be the first to be included in Foundations rent-to-buy programme.
Foundations Chief Executive Mark Kitts said: “We can make a real difference to people’s lives by giving them an opportunity they would not otherwise get to buy a home for themselves and their families.
“It gives people a stake in their communities and helps us in our broader ambitions to improve neighbourhoods and improve the quality of the city’s housing.
“At this stage we are only able to offer 14 homes under the scheme. We understand that demand might be far in excess of that so we will be working hard to offer new homes under the scheme in the coming months and years. Our promise is to be as fair as we can be in making these opportunities available to people who register their interest.”
Foundations wants to either deliver or commence a number of projects across the city over the next two years. These will deliver a mix of affordable and family housing, including apartments, for both sale and rent, as well as bespoke properties for the homeless, foster carers, large families, the elderly and people with a disability.
The company’s rent-to-buy launch follows news that Liverpool City Council is assessing how to begin building council homes again for the first time in 30 years.
Mayor Anderson said: “The work of Foundations and the new rent-to-buy scheme complements our council house building plans. Buying is not for everyone, for a range of reasons, so it is important that we do what we can to help people in every situation to get the home they deserve.”
The council expects to reveal more details of its council housing plans in the near future but has already identified a site in Yew Tree where new council homes could be built, alongside Foundations own housing.
Foundations is seen as fundamental to addressing the city’s need to develop 30,000 new homes by 2030.
The company recently announced plans for a high quality housing-led regeneration project in Kirkdale which could see the creation of affordable new homes, community facilities, elderly care accommodation, an eco-park and a new boxing academy.
Frank Hont, Chair of Foundations, said: “Foundations has the potential to transform the lives of thousands of families in our city. We want to rebalance the city’s social housing stock, revolutionise the rent-to-buy sector and drive up council tax receipts for the council.”
For more information about Foundations’ rent-to-buy scheme contact the managing agents for the scheme, Redwing Living, at their website: redwingliving.co.uk/