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Build to rent scheme unveiled by housing minister

Housing minister Brandon Lewis has unveiled a brand new housing development that offers first-time buyers the chance to purchase their home through an innovative rent-then-buy option. Low Willington, near Crook in County Durham is the first market rent scheme in the north of England to be completed under the government's Build to Rent fund.The Home and Communities Agency (HCA) manages this finance - and this particular iteration of the scheme is worth £1.3 million.Prince Bishops Homes (PBH) -  a subsidiary of North Durham housing provider Derwentside Homes - carried out the development work on the homes. A total of 14 three and four bedroom homes and have already been constructed, drawing praise from local families who have been given the opportunity to rent the properties. Tenants are able to rent the properties at market levels until March 2020, at which point they will be given the chance to purchase the home and benefit from any increase in equity which has occurred in that period. This money can also be used as a deposit for the mortgage, although the tenant does not have to purchase and can continue to rent if they choose to do so. Mr Lewis underlined the importance of the role played by the private rented sector in the national housing market. "[It provides]  a flexible option for millions of people across the country," he commented, adding: "It's wonderful to visit this development in County Durham, which is helping boost local housing supply and local economic growth."HCA executive director Naz Parkar said: "The Build to Rent programme makes a significant contribution to supporting a diversity of choice and provision to help meet local needs and priorities." He added that the move will also make a big difference to local families. 

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