Two 2-bedroom affordable homes at the top end of Gordon Road in Buxted are almost ready for occupation and will be advertised through Wealden’s choice-based lettings system. A 3-bedroom property at the other end of Gordon Road will also soon be ready. The latest information received is that the 26 affordable homes on the Grampian site will be ready in 3 phases between June and September this year. They include 4 (2-bedroom houses) for shared ownership and 22 (a mix of 2-bedroom flats and 2- and 3-bedroom houses) for rent. This will mean the Parish will for the first time in many years provide local houses for local people who cannot afford current market prices.
New build home buy: Affordable homes are available through different housing associations. Some are for rent and for others, people can buy shares worth between 25% and 75% of the property’s market value and pay subsidised rent on the remaining share. Raising a mortgage to buy the share is possible as is putting down a deposit from the sale of another property.
Buying additional shares at a later date is also possible. The cost of the additional shares is based on the market value of the property at the time the shares are purchased. In turn, as a share in the property is increased, the rent is re-calculated and reduced proportionately. However, there are restrictions on being able to buy more than 80% of a property. This ensures the property remains ‘affordable’ in perpetuity. If the owner wants to sell, their share is marketed by the housing association, so that others can then benefit from low-cost home ownership.
Home buy direct: Under this scheme, people buy a minimum of 70% of the market value of a property. An equity loan of up to 30% is provided but re-payments are not necessary for the first five years, after which a 1.75% fee is charged which increases annually in line with inflation.
First time buyers: First time buyers can buy a brand new home with a mortgage for a minimum of 50% of the market value. The government then provides a shared equity loan to help you to buy up to the full purchase price. There are no interest charges for the first three years. After three years there is a fee of 1%, rising to a maximum of 3% after five years.
Home ownership for people with long-term disabilities (HOLD) helps people with long-term disabilities to buy a share in a property. It is offered locally by Southdown Housing Association.
How are houses allocated?
WDC operates a choice based lettings system to allocate homes. Applicants need to be on the WDC housing list and then they bid for vacancies suitable for their needs. Homes are allocated to highest priority applicants with a local connection to the parish and who have been on the waiting list the longest. Priority bands are:
- A emergency, urgent priority
- B high priority to move
- C identified housing need
- D no housing need
Having a ‘local connection’ means (at least one of the following):
- living in the parish for over 2 years
- living in the parish for at least 3 out of the previous 5 years
- having close relatives living in the parish (e.g. mother, father or siblings)
- having a genuine offer of work in the parish, providing an important service to the community and having to live locally.
If people are eligible for affordable housing it is vital they register on Wealden’s housing list. You can contact the clerk for further information or get in touch with WDC direct. For more information visit www.homebuy.co.uk/homebuy_direct.aspx