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Types of Affordable Housing

Explaining rented, shared ownership and discounted sales

Affordable housing is a term used to describe different housing tenures that are more affordable to people who cannot buy or rent a home on the open market (housing tenures describe the legal status under which people have the right to live in their accommodation).

Examples of affordable housing are:

Social Rented and Affordable Rented

Social rented housing is subsidised housing that is owned and managed by a Registered Housing Provider (Housing Association) and allocated through West Berkshire Homechoice to eligible households.

Affordable rented housing is also owned and managed by Registered Housing Providers (Housing Associations) and allocated through West Berkshire Homechoice to eligible households. Rents are no more than 80 per cent of open market rent and in line with the Local Housing Allowance. 

For more information on West Berkshire Homechoice, and to look at homes that are available, please visit the Homechoice website.

Shared Ownership

Shared ownership is designed for people who cannot afford to buy a house on the open market, but still want to get on the property ladder. 

An initial share is bought (usually 25 per cent to 75 per cent) and then rent is paid on the remaining part. There are two monthly payments, one for the mortgage and one for the rent. 

The other share in your home is owned by a housing association or a developer. 

You can find out more on our Shared Ownership page.

Intermediate Rent

The rents are approximately 20 per cent cheaper than those on the open market. Typically, you will sign up to a six month tenancy, with a month's rent held as a deposit. 

Affordability checks will be carried out to make sure the monthly rent is affordable for your household. You will be expected to use the lower rental payments to save towards a deposit to buy another home through the Help to Buy scheme.

Discounted Sales

These properties are sold at below market value, usually at a discount of between 20 per cent and 50 per cent. You buy the property at a discounted price and own the entire property. Unlike shared ownership, you do not have to pay rent on the remaining share of the property. 

When you sell the discounted property, the saving is passed on to the next buyer so that the property remains affordable. For example, if you pay £80,000 for an affordable property worth £100,000 and it rises in value to £110,000 by the time you sell it, the 20 per cent discount would be passed on, meaning you could sell it for £88,000. 

These homes are often advertised in the same place as the Shared Ownership homes on the Help to Buy South website. Other times, they are advertised by the developer for that site.

There is no register to join if you are interested in discounted sales. They are usually allocated on a first-come-first-served basis to purchasers who meet the criteria set out in the legal agreement relating to the property. 

You can find further details of the different schemes that are available on the Help to Buy South website.

For more information, please contact the Housing Development Team.

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