UK's first Rent to Buy council homes in Newcastle

The team who built the city’s first council Rent to Buy homes are celebrating after handing over the keys to new residents in Newcastle. 

Newcastle City Council was the first local authority in the UK to launch the innovative scheme which gives first-time buyers and people returning to the housing market the opportunity to get on the property ladder.

The impressive Reestones Place boasts 21 new homes and, having launched the Rent to Buy scheme in June, the properties were snapped up within 24 hours and the first few families have already moved in.   

The two, three and four-bedroom new build homes in Kenton were offered at a rent of just 80 per cent of market value on a specially designed five year fixed tenancy to allow residents to save the deposit they need to secure a mortgage and buy the home at the end of the rental period. 

Working with Gateshead-based contractor Tolent and local practice P+HS Architects, the council also received funding from Homes England. The properties will be managed by Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), the city council’s housing arms-length management organisation, who consulted with local residents before building started and liaised with them throughout, including holding monthly surgeries on site.

Linda Hobson, Cabinet Member for Housing at Newcastle City Council, said: “Housing is a priority for the council and we’re always looking for new and innovative ways of delivering a range of housing options in the city. We know that the dream of buying a home can seem out of reach for some people so when Homes England funding became available for local authorities to deliver Rent to Buy housing we were confident that we would be able to help some of those people to realise their dreams.  

“We knew that, as the first council to build Rent to Buy homes, other local authorities would be watching to see how the scheme would work.  Now, with residents settling in to their new homes, I think we can safely say that it has been a fantastic success and that Rent to Buy is definitely a model we would consider again in the future if the opportunity comes along.”