Spelthorne Borough Council transferred all of its housing stock in 1996 to what is now A2Dominion Housing Group. This means that there is no 'council housing' in Spelthorne. Affordable housing for rent is provided by housing associations. In Spelthorne these are:
There are a range of affordable housing for rent options, including:
You can only access affordable housing for rent through the Council's Housing Options Team.
The Council maintains a register of applicants who qualify for affordable housing within the Borough. This is commonly known as the Housing Register. Some also call it the 'housing waiting list' but this is misleading as it implies that if an applicant waits long enough, they will be offered affordable housing. In reality, demand significantly outstrips supply, and so the vast majority of applicants will not receive an offer of affordable housing.
Applications on the Housing Register are assessed and prioritised according to the. Not everyone who wants to apply for affordable housing within the Borough will qualify.
The Council has rights to 'nominate' applicants for affordable housing vacancies with housing associations. Generally, this is only the case for 75 percent of all vacancies, with the housing association retaining the remaining 25 percent of vacancies for their own tenants to access.
Applicants can express interest in available properties through a 'bidding' process. This is known as 'choice based lettings'. The Council has a standalone choice based lettings system called SEARCH Moves.
The important thing to remember is that waiting for affordable housing is not a realistic option for most people in housing need, given the limited number of vacancies each year and the number of applicants on the Housing Register.
Sheltered and retirement affordable housing has design features which make it suitable for older residents. There is generally a minimum age criteria for this kind of housing which varied scheme by scheme but is usually 55 years of age.
In Spelthorne, there are a number of sheltered / retirement schemes, including:
All of the above are owned and managed by A2Dominion. The properties are generally one-bedroom flats, but there are also a small number of houses and bungalows, and two-bedroom accommodation. For general information, please can be found on A2Dominion's website.
Extra Care affordable housing offers the opportunity for residents to retain a level of independence whilst receiving care and support in their own home, generally with an on-site care and support team.
In Spelthorne, there are three Extra Care schemes:
The properties are generally one-bedroom flats, but there are also a small number of two-bedroom flats.
Access to Extra Care is outside of SEARCH Moves, and it managed by a panels process involving the Council, the relevant housing provider, the relevant care and support provider (if separate to the housing provider), and social care professionals.
To find out more, please contact the Housing Options team.
Supported housing schemes offer accommodation with support to meet low to medium level support needs. Usually the accommodation is for up to two years, after which residents are supported to move onto more independent accommodation, either in the private or social sector.
In Spelthorne, there are three supported housing schemes:
The properties are all one-bedroom flats or studios.
Access to supported housing is outside of SEARCH Moves, and applicants must be referred by a relevant professional, such as a Housing Options Officer, a Probation Officer or a worker from the Community Mental Health Recovery Service.
The Government has created a range of products to assist low- and middle-income earners to get a foot on the housing ladder. These products are collectively called Help to Buy.
Whether you are looking to get onto the housing ladder or move up it, there are a number of Help to Buy products designed to make buying a home more affordable, including:
Shared Ownership is designed for those who cannot afford to purchase a property outright on the open market. This scheme allows you to purchase a percentage share of a property whilst renting the remaining share from the housing association selling the property. You can then choose to purchase further shares to increase your ownership of the property over time.
This scheme can be available on New Build, as well as second-hand properties, which are referred to as 're-sales'. These are homes previously purchased by someone through the scheme who is now looking to sell on their share.
Generally, the Council has rights to nominate applicants to new build schemes when they are first built. We do this by a 'cascade' process, where we prioritise certain applicant groups, such as members of the Armed Forces, and applicants with a local connection.
Both new build and re-sales are advertised on the Help to Buy East South East website.
The Help to Buy Equity Loan is designed to help you purchase specific new-build properties priced up to £600,000, from participating registered developers, with as little as for a 5 percent deposit.
The Government lends you up to 20 percent of the cost of your new-build home interest-free for up to five years, so you'll only need to provide a 5 percent cash deposit and a 75 percent mortgage to make up the rest.
For more information, please go to the Equity Loans page on the Help to Buy website.
If you are saving to buy your first home, save money into a Help to Buy: ISA and the Government will boost your savings by 25 percent. So, for every £200 you save, receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000.
For more information is available on the ISA page on the Help to Buy website.
In the same way as standard Shared Ownership, you buy an initial share that you can afford, helping you get into home ownership in manageable stages. However, the main difference is that if none of the available Shared Ownership properties meet your needs, you may be able to buy a property on the open market, subject to some exclusions.
More information is available on the HOLD page on the Help to Buy website.
Older People's Shared Ownership (OPSO) gives retired people lower living costs, than if they owned a home on the open market. It is available solely to the over 55's.
In the same way as standard Shared Ownership, you buy an initial share that you can afford, helping you get into home ownership in manageable stages. However, the main difference is the maximum share you can ever own through OPSO is 75 percent.
More information is available on the OPSO page on the Help to Buy website.
For more information on affordable home ownership options visit the Help to Buy East South East website.
If you interested in buying in another area please visit their website to find details of the local Help to Buy agent for that region.