‘I would’ve been priced out of the town I’ve lived and worked in my whole life’

Alliance Homes welcomes their first Rent to Buy customers at landmark development, Marina Gardens, in Portishead.

Portishead born and bred Danny Smith and his partner are among the first residents to move to the town’s landmark residential development, Marina Gardens, with Alliance Homes’ Rent to Buy scheme.

33-year-old Danny, who is the General Manager of a pub, was renting privately in Portishead but was given one month’s notice to leave his home after five years. He says: “Without Rent to Buy, I would’ve been priced out of the town I’ve lived and worked in my whole life. This has been a lifeline for me and has made me feel more secure.”

Rent to Buy is a new tenure type for local housing association Alliance Homes. The government scheme makes it easier for people to transition from renting to buying, by offering subsidised rent for up to five years and enabling them to save up for a deposit. This tenure type marks Alliance Homes’ continued commitment to delivering much-needed new affordable homes and meeting a wide range of housing needs across the region.  

Alliance Homes Group Chief Executive, Louise Swain, says: “We’re delighted to welcome our first seven Rent to Buy customers at Marina Gardens!

“We recognise the challenges faced by many in our region, as high house prices and rising private rent costs threaten to push residents out of their local communities.

Homeownership seems increasingly out of the reach of those who spend most of their household income on renting privately, making it difficult to save up for a mortgage deposit.  

“These Rent to Buy properties are enabling us to offer more affordable housing options in our region, helping more local people to live in a secure home while working towards achieving their homeownership goal.”

Patrycja and her family, who have also moved to Marina Gardens with Rent to Buy, were struggling to save up for a deposit due to the high cost of renting privately in Portishead. Patrycja, who lives with her husband and 11-year-old daughter Magdalena, says: “We can now call Portishead our long-term home. We feel more stable, and our daughter can grow up here. It’s a great relief to be able to plan for the future and to see homeownership as an option.” 

She adds: “This is an important first step towards owning a home. We’re able to put money aside, making it easier to save up for a mortgage deposit and realise our dream of homeownership.” 

This added security isn’t just good for mum and dad. Their daughter, Magdalena, says: “I’m so much closer to school, my friends, and my after-school clubs now. It’s great living here.” 

Welcoming the first Rent to Buy customers at Marina Gardens is an important moment for Alliance Homes and the local community. Alongside Shared Ownership, Rent to Buy offers an affordable route to homeownership in a region where average house prices are now 11.5 times median earnings.

Alliance Homes will be delivering a further 17 Rent to Buy homes at Marina Gardens throughout 2024.