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Liverpool housing company launches rent-to-buy scheme

Liverpool city centre. Credit: LivingOS (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Liverpool City Council’s ethical housing company Foundations has launched a new rent-to-buy scheme to help people to eventually own homes of their own.

The initiative will allow people to rent homes at 80% of market rent so they can save the other 20% towards a mortgage to buy the property.

It will be launched with a pilot project involving 14 new family homes in the inner city area of Dingle.

Residents will be given the option to buy the home after 12 months and up to five years after moving in at a fair price based on the house’s valuation at the time of purchase.

The launch of the scheme is subject to agreement at a Liverpool City Council cabinet meeting set to take place next Friday (21 June).

Mark Kitts, chief executive of Foundations, 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.’

While Foundations is only currently able to offer 14 homes under the scheme, the company said it plans to offer more homes under the scheme soon.

The scheme will be available to people who live or work in Liverpool and are either first-time buyers or are people who have had to sell their home.

It will also be open to those who are in work but can’t save a big enough deposit for a property due to living costs.

Foundations has stated its intentions to start or deliver several housing projects across Liverpool over the next two years, including affordable and family housing for sale and rent and bespoke properties for groups such as large families, the elderly and people with disabilities.

The launch comes following news that Liverpool City Council plans to start building council homes again for the first time in almost three decades.

The council currently aims to deliver 30,000 new homes in Liverpool by the year 2030 in order to meet growing housing demand.

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe 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 says it has already identified a site in Yew Tree where new council homes could be built and plans to announce further details about its council housing plans soon.

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