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Affordable housing definitions

Affordable rented housing

Tenants living in this type of housing will have an assured tenancy. The government allows rent to be charged at up to 80 per cent of open market rents, including service charges. Housing Benefit can still be claimed to assist with paying the rent.

Shared ownership

You purchase a minimum of a 25 per cent share in a property from a housing association. You then pay rent on the remaining share, which is usually three per cent on the value of that share when the home is first sold. Rent levels on resale homes can be higher.

Rent to save

You rent for a fixed period, up to five years, at up to 80 per cent of the market rent for that property, with a fixed rate of inflation. A savings plan is put in place to help with a deposit. At any point during the tenancy you can purchase shared ownership or shared equity.

Help to buy

This is an equity loan where you purchase a minimum of 80 per cent of the property with a mortgage and deposit. You need to be able to raise a minimum deposit equivalent to five per cent of the value of the property. No fee will be charged on the loan for the first five years. After that you will pay a fee on each of the equity loans of 1.75 per cent, rising yearly by the increase in the retail price index, plus one per cent.