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Help with renting and buying affordable housing

Affordable housing is for people who can't afford to rent or buy on the open market. This includes social and affordable rented homes, intermediate housing and other low cost home ownership products. Watch our Housing Plymouth video which explains your affordable housing options.

Renting affordable housing

If you're eligible to rent a house from a housing association the following affordable rent products are available:

  • Social rented: Social rent housing is let at guideline target rents which are determined through the national rent regime.
  • Affordable rented: Affordable rent housing requires a rent of no more than 80 per cent of the local market rent (including service charges where applicable).
  • Intermediate rent: Intermediate rent housing is let at a cost above social rent, but below market levels.

Buying affordable housing

If you aspire to own your own home the following home buying initiatives that could help:

Shared ownership

Shared ownership schemes allow home buyers to secure a mortgage to buy a stake (usually between 25 per cent to 75 per cent) in a property, while paying rent on the remaining share to the housing association or private developer that own the building. Buyers have the options to increase their ownership in the property by buying extra shares until they own the property outright.

To be eligible for shared ownership you have to meet the following criteria:

  • Have a household income of less than £80,000
  • Don't currently own your own home or you're not named on the legal deeds of any property
  • Can raise sufficient money to cover fees and understand mortgage lenders may require a deposit

Visit the Help to Buy South West website for more information and details on how to apply.

Help to Buy

Help to Buy equity loan is a Government backed scheme that lends home buyers up to 20 per cent of the cost of a newly built home. Only five per cent cash deposit is needed with a 75 per cent mortgage making up the rest.

Help to Buy mortgage guarantee Government backed scheme that offers lenders a guarantee on mortgage loans. With this support, lenders are able to offer home buyers up to 95 per cent loan to value meaning only a five per cent cash deposit is needed (even on non-new build homes).

Help to Buy explained

Visit the Help to Buy website for more information and details on how to apply.

Starter homes

The starter homes scheme is a Government initiative that helps young first time home buyers (under the age of 40) purchase a home with a minimum of 20 per cent discount off the market price. Visit the New-homes website for more information and details on how to apply.


Rentplus is an innovative rent to buy product. Home owners can rent a home at 80 per cent of market rent or local housing allowance. After a period of time (five, ten, 15 or 20 years) there's an opportunity to purchase the home. When the home is purchased, Rentplus will gift a 10 per cent deposit to assist with the purchase. Visit the Rentplus website for more information and details on how to apply.