New tenancies make homes ‘affordable’ for Riversmead residents
Published by SRedford for Network Housing Group Limited in Housing and also in Communities
Riversmead Housing Association, a member of Network Housing Group, is offering new residents who move into a rented home an affordable rent tenancy, which is an assured short hold tenancy fixed for a period of five years.
This new type of tenancy was introduced by the Government in April 2011 and began being implemented by Riversmead from October 2011. Rent is charged at 75% of the current market rent for a property of a similar size in the same area. For example if a three bedroom house has a private market rent of £800 per month, the affordable rent will be set at £600 per month (75% of this figure), saving residents’ £200 a month.
At the end of the five year period, the tenancy is reviewed and renewed for a further five years if the property is still suitable for the resident and their circumstances. If the property no longer meets the resident’s needs, the resident will be supported by Riversmead’s Neighbourhood Services team to find a new home appropriate for their needs, for example, a larger home if the resident’s family has grown.
The Government intend for affordable rent tenancies to be the main type of new housing supply and have introduced them to give social landlords greater flexibility on rents, allowing them to build more affordable homes for local people.
Traditionally Riversmead have offered an assured (lifetime) tenancy, introduced by the Housing Act in 1988. The majority of residents in rented properties, flexicare housing, older persons’ housing and shared ownership properties still enjoy this type of tenancy.
Riversmead resident Tina Johnson rented privately in Ware before being served a Notice to Quit by her landlord who wanted to sell the property. Mrs Johnson recently began her affordable rent tenancy at her new home in Hertford and is happy with her new life.
“I really like my new home and the neighbourhood I live in. My rent is much cheaper now than it was in my private rented home and I get repairs and problems sorted quickly by Riversmead. I’m pleased with how things have turned out and feel settled and safe here.”
Mrs Johnson’s private rent tenancy was originally for 6 months before being extended for a further year.
“Moving on to an affordable rent tenancy has made me feel reassured and secure knowing that I can stay in my home for at least five years.
“I would recommend this type of tenancy to anyone who is in a similar circumstance to me.”
Chris Wright, Riversmead’s Director of Housing said: “Affordable rent tenancies provide a more affordable solution for those residents who find they can’t afford to rent privately, but aren’t suitable for traditional social housing tenancies. They give greater flexibility for landlords, who can invest rent received into building more homes for local people, and residents, who can move home to better suit their needs and circumstances at the end of a fixed period.”
To register for a home in East Herts contact East Herts Council’s Housing Options team on 01279 655 261 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A member of Network Housing Group - www.networkhg.org.uk