Sector - Finance & Legislation

Social Development Minister launches new rent to own scheme

Northern Ireland Social Development Minister Lord Morrow has launched a new scheme for those on low incomes to become homeowners.

Over £12.5M has been invested by the Department for Social Development in the pilot ‘Rent To Own’ scheme that sees tenants rent a new home of their choosing for a period of up to three years and be entitled to a rent rebate of 25% towards a mortgage deposit after this period to buy the home with a standard mortgage or though Co-ownership.

Minister Morrow launched the initiative at Station Park, Maguiresbridge whilst showcasing the kind properties that are available through the Rent to Own scheme. Lord Morrow said he understood the difficulties faced by first time buyers attempting to become homeowners and hoped the new scheme would provide opportunities to those people who struggle getting the mortgage they need.

He commented: “Rent to Own offers security of tenure at a fair price in a high standard of accommodation. Through Rent to Own householders have the opportunity to save for a home deposit while building up a sufficient rating to secure a mortgage, both of which have been identified as key barriers for homeownership for first time buyers.”

“I am committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing across Northern Ireland. I am therefore pleased that my Department has been able to access new funding in the form of Financial Transactions Capital to bring this pilot initiative to fruition, to assist those who are not yet in a financial position to purchase a home, increase the availability of affordable homes and improve housing supply.”

Sid McDowell, Chair of Co-Ownership Housing which developed the product, said: “Rent to Own is the brainchild of Co-Ownership Housing, where we have a long and successful history of working within the private housing market but with a social purpose. This is a new way for us to do this and we are delighted to offer an exciting product which is very distinct from our co-ownership model. It will help renters to get to where they want to be – the home owners of the future.”