Pioneering deposit scheme approved by Council

13 February 2018

A unique and innovative scheme that aims to revolutionise the way first time buyers can gain a foothold on the property ladder was approved, following a unanimous decision by elected members at a meeting of Council on Thursday 8 February 2018.

The 'Earn Your Deposit' scheme will offer over 400 tenants of Thamsewey Housing Ltd, a company owned by Woking Borough Council that provides affordable rented accommodation across the Borough to residents, the opportunity to earn money towards a deposit on their first home.

The scheme will be available to 'good 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, 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 new affordable homes, 58 per cent of all new homes in the Borough.

"This, however, is nowhere near enough to meet current demand. It's now time to rethink the way we rent and purchase property to help alleviate the current housing crisis. Therefore, I'm delighted that this innovative, ground-breaking Earn Your Deposit scheme has been approved and offers a way to support tenants, whilst preserving our housing stock for future generations."

"This mutually beneficial scheme enables Thameswey Housing Ltd to retain its affordable housing stock and gives tenants the ability to purchase a property in the private sector. Now that the scheme has been approved in Woking, I hope other councils and housing associations across the country will consider this approach. It will give people currently trapped in the rental sector the real hope of one day owning their own home."