A unique and innovative scheme proposed by the Conservative-led Woking Borough Council looks sets to change forever the route Woking housing tenants take onto the housing ladder.
The 'Earn Your Deposit' scheme will offer more than 400 tenants the opportunity to earn money towards a deposit on their first home. The scheme would be available to tenants who pay their rent on time, look after their home and garden and do not cause a nuisance to neighbours. The monetary value a tenant could earn after a qualifying period would be dependent on meeting the scheme's criteria and the size of property they rent.
Cllr David Bittleston, Conservative Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: "Delivering more affordable homes is a key priority for the Council. In the past three years, we have successfully provided 430 affordable new homes, 58 per cent of all new homes in the Borough.
"However, this is nowhere near enough to meet current demand and it is now time to rethink the way we rent and purchase property to help alleviate the current housing crisis. This innovative, ground-breaking Earn Your Deposit scheme could be the way to support social tenants, whilst preserving our housing stock for future generations.
"Sadly, many tenants who rent affordable homes from Thameswey Housing Ltd have little or no hope of saving enough money to afford a deposit on a home of their own.
"The Earn Your Deposit scheme is designed to help address this issue. For example, a tenant in a two bedroom property could receive £2,400 per year towards a deposit on a home of their own. For families in a four bedroom house this rises to £3,600 per year with a cap of £80,000. Consequently, a family could earn enough to put a substantial deposit on a property."
If the scheme is approved by Council at its meeting on Thursday 8 February 2018, it will be necessary to adjust all Assured Shorthold Tenancies accordingly, with all tenants that wish to transfer to their new tenancy arrangements by 31 December 2018.