We’re passionate about improving the outlook for those trapped in private rented accommodation with no hope of buying, rising rents, and little – if any – long-term security.
We have a new approach
An eQuality Homes scheme will be developed by an eQuality Homes Cooperative. This Cooperative will be owned by its members, who will be the residents of the housing development. This means that all residents will have an ownership stake in their landlord, a voice in how the scheme is run and a vote on key matters relating to it.
69% of people think the uk is in the midst of a housing crisis
37% of renters believe they'll never afford to own a home
The average mortgage deposit required in the UK is £33,000
home ownership is at its lowest level for 30 years
What is a housing cooperative?
A Housing Cooperative (or Co-op) is typically a company that owns homes, where the owners of the company (or its members) are the residents of the homes. Co-ops are fairly common and come in many shapes and sizes depending on the circumstances. Some examples of successful housing co-op groups include:
What is an eQuality Homes
eQuality Homes Cooperatives differ to the Co-op groups listed above, in that we believe that the requirement to have a mortgage and raise a mortgage deposit that is a key barrier to home ownership for many. The eQuality Homes concept has been designed to remove this barrier, whilst still offering as many of the benefits of home ownership as possible.
eQuality Homes Cooperatives will be fully mutual housing cooperatives, which means:
- they have to abide by requirements set down in law
- they must be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- they must limit their membership to residents or prospective residents
As a member of the Cooperative, you will have a voice on how the scheme is run, a vote on key matters relating to the scheme. You will also be able to stand for a position on the management committee that runs the Cooperative.
An eQuality Homes Housing Cooperative will comprise a collection of individual homes in a local area which are developed and owned by the local Cooperative group. The homes will not be sold, but instead will be rented out (and must remain the principle home of the resident). All residents must become members of the Cooperative and will own a share in the Cooperative.
The Cooperative will develop a mix of different house types to meet local needs. Each home will be an individual home (and not part of a communal living space). The homes will be designed to be modern and energy efficient. It is also intended that as far as possible they will be larger than typical rented houses which have been designed to meet the minimum national space requirements. There is of course a balance between size and rental cost. Larger homes will cost more to build and will need higher rents to repay the development loans.
The rents will be set to meet the operational needs of the cooperative and not the external needs of a third-party investor, meaning that rent will be fair and ideally lower than other rents in the area.
The benefits explained
No mortgage or mortgage deposit
The Cooperative will develop and own the houses which means that people moving into the scheme will not have to buy their home, secure a mortgage, or save for a mortgage deposit.
To ensure the Cooperative can repay all the money it has borrowed, and to meet any financial or operating requirements it has, the residents must pay a monthly rent to the Cooperative. This rent will be set by the Cooperative to meet its operating needs and repay the money it has borrowed to build its homes. Residents will also be expected to pay a refundable tenancy deposit, which would typically be one month’s rent.
Rent free once your share is paid
To raise the money to pay for the scheme, it is likely that the cooperative will need to take out a long-term commercial loan. All residents moving into the scheme will be expected to pay their share of the costs involved in building their property, in the form of monthly rental payments. Once this development loan is repaid, and the resident has paid their share of the development costs they will no-longer need to contribute towards the development costs. However, the residents will have to continue to pay for their share of any day-to-day operating costs for the cooperative (such as maintenance, insurance, management costs, etc.).
This approach is intended to ensure that residents committing to the long-term success of the scheme can look forward to a rent-free living once they have paid for their share, in much the same way that a homeowner can look forward to a mortgage-free life once they have repaid their mortgage.
Your home will be yours for as long as you want it
The Cooperative will be set up to provide housing for its residents and members and for no other purpose, meaning that you will not be asked to move because the house you are living in is to be sold, redeveloped, or so that the rent can be increased in line with other property’s in the area.
Please note that you will have to comply fully with your tenancy agreement (including paying your rent on time) and the Cooperative rules, and failure to do so could mean that you lose your home.
The scheme will be developed to ensure that as far as possible rents are kept to a minimum and are only increased if the Cooperative decides that there is a requirement to increase the rental levels to meet the operational requirements of the Cooperative. They will not be increased to improve the investment returns for a third-party landlord because of inflation, or because properties in the area have increased in value.
Ability to decorate and personalise your home
eQuality Homes are built with the intention that your house will be your home for the long-term, and not just a private rented house. This means that you will be expected to be more involved in the day-to-day maintenance of your home, and you will have greater freedom to decorate and personalise your home than you would typically have in a rented house.
Any decoration or personalisation will have to comply with the Cooperative rules, and the resident(s) will be responsible for returning their home to a good lettable condition and repair (or paying for it to be returned to a good lettable condition and repair) for the next resident if they move out of the scheme.
It may also be possible and practical to extend an eQuality Homes property in due course. This would require the consent of the Cooperative and would be subject to agreement on terms with the cooperative but may be an option open to residents as their circumstances change in the future.