Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Councils launch HomeOwn scheme to help tenants

Derrick Haley, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council ANL-140416-220520009
Derrick Haley, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council ANL-140416-220520009

The opportunity for Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Council tenants to buy their home has moved a step closer following the launch of a new scheme.

HomeOwn, launched last month, enables local authorities to make one-off payments to council tenants of up to £20,000 as a cash incentive to buy a property for the first time.

A two-year funding opportunity, it is aimed at those eligible for the right to buy scheme, wishing to buy a property on the open market.

It will be open to ten tenants of each district.

It has been made possible after both authorities were successful in applying to the Government’s £84m Right to Buy Social Mobility Fund.

Councillor Derrick Haley, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to help tenants buy their own homes.

“By offering the scheme to tenants currently living in one and two-bed homes, we hope to free up some smaller units for those wishing to downsize, as we currently have a number of tenants across both districts actively looking for smaller properties to rent.”

Cllr Jennie Jenkins, leader of Babergh District Council, added: “It’s excellent news that both councils were successful in gaining the Government funding as this will give some tenants access to a choice of homes on the open market which they may not normally be able to afford.

“One of our strategic priorities is housing.

“We’re jointly responsible for about 7,000 council properties and work in partnership with a number of social landlords who are key and valued partners in many of our housing projects.”

In order for tenants of one or two bedroom properties to apply, they will need to show their purchase on the open market would be a sustainable one, have a clear rent account for the past year, buying a property which meets their housing needs, and prove they can repay a mortgage.

If approved, funds will then be released to the solicitor on completion and once the council property is empty.

n For further information about the HomeOwn scheme, please telephone the Right to Buy Team on 01449 724753.