THANKS to Stockton Council's Rent to Buy scheme three families, who thought they would never have a chance to own a property, have just moved into brand new homes.
The innovative new scheme at Hardwick Green, Stockton, which is the first of its kind to be offered by a North East Council, is helping local people struggling to get on the property ladder secure their first home.
Through Rent to Buy, people who would like to own their own home but can't currently afford to do so, can rent a house for five years before having the opportunity to buy it outright. At that point, the rent they have paid is converted into a 10 per cent deposit towards the purchase price to help them make home ownership possible.
For Adrian Healey, Kirsty Walton and their two-year old daughter Katie, their dream has become a reality as they settle into their brand new three-bed property.
"Without 'Rent to Buy' we wouldn't have been able to think about owning our own home, said Kirsty. "The scheme has given us a chance to step onto the property ladder without the worry of securing a mortgage. The Council's team were really helpful, making the whole process easy."
Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, said: "Stockton Council set up the scheme because we realised people were having a real difficulty getting a mortgage or deposit big enough to get onto the first rung of the property ladder.
"We have worked closely with private developers Barratt Homes and Keepmoat Homes, who are building the new Hardwick Green development, as well as Housing Hartlepool who will act as landlord to the families during the rental period."
The Hardwick Green housing development is part of a wider £100 million regeneration of Hardwick by Stockton Council and other public and private sector partners. By the end of the ambitious scheme 600 properties will have been replaced with 800 good quality new homes for rent and sale and attractive public open spaces. In addition to this the community can boast a £4million state-of-the-art new build primary school and many other improvements across the wider estate.
With many families already accepted onto the scheme and moving into their new homes, there are just a few remaining homes left. For more information or to apply please call Stockton Council's affordable homes team (01642) 528646, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.stockton.gov.uk/affordablehomeownership.