Skip to main content

Renting, moving and affordable housing

If you can't buy your own home, you can rent a place to live. We have a shortage of social housing.

Your circumstances will affect whether it's better to rent from a social or private landlord.

Private rented accommodation

You can find a home to rent yourself online.

Some websites to find homes to rent:

The Shelter website has advice and guidance on private renting.

Read the how to rent guidance for more information.

Social and sheltered housing

Once you've joined the Devon Home Choice register you can view and bid on social or housing association homes.

You need to be aware that:

  • there is a shortage of housing association homes available
  • even if you're assessed as having a high housing need, it may take you a long time to find a housing association home

The Devon Home Choice website explains how the system works.

Email: any questions or if you have an emergency need for housing.

Affordable housing

If you're eligible to rent a house from a housing association you'll be offered either social rent or affordable rent:

  • social rent - low-cost rent that is set by government rent guidance
  • affordable rent - 20 to 30% cheaper than private rent

Video by Plymouth Community Homes explaining types of rent.

Costs of moving into a new home

If you're renting a home from a social or private landlord you will likely have to pay rent in advance.

You should also consider other costs such as:

  • white goods (fridges, washing machines, cookers and freezers)
  • beds and bedding
  • tables and chairs
  • cooking and eating utensils
  • other furnishings
  • electrical goods
  • moving fees

We recommend you start a savings account as soon as possible to give yourself some money to be able to buy the essentials.

Help with rent

If you're on a low income you may be entitled to benefits to help towards your rent:

Deposit guarantee

If you can't get a deposit and are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, you may be able to get help through the PATH Deposit Guarantee scheme.

If you're eligible, you still need to save towards your own cash deposit. You will need to:

  • replace the deposit guarantee after 12 months.
  • have 10% of the deposit available on the day you sign the tenancy agreement
  • open a savings account with Westcountry Savings and Loans Credit Union

Applying for a deposit guarantee

If you are single or a couple - Contact PATH Call: 01752 255889 (9.30am to 12.30pm Tuesday to Friday).

If you are a family - We will need to make a referral for you:
Email or call 01752 668000.

More information is available on the PATH website.

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 you to buy a share between 10% and 75% of the home’s full market value. You pay rent on the share that you do not own.

You can buy more shares through a process called 'staircasing'. You can usually staircase up to 100%.

To be eligible for shared ownership you have to:

  • have a household income of less than £80,000
  • be a first-time buyer or used to own a home but cannot afford to buy one now
  • not be able to afford all of the deposit and mortgage payments for a home that meets your needs

Visit the Own Your Home website for more information and details on how to apply.


Rentplus is an affordable rent-to-buy scheme. You can rent a home at 80% of market rent or local housing allowance.

After 5, 10, 15 or 20 years there's an opportunity to buy the home. When the home is purchased, Rentplus will gift a 10% deposit to assist with the purchase. Visit the Rentplus website for more information.

First homes

The First Homes homes scheme helps first-time buyers purchase a home. First Homes are sold with at least a 30% discount off the market price. Visit the First Homes website for more information.