I no longer need to dream about becoming a homeowner

Donna Foster wanted nothing more than to buy her own home. Like many others, she had felt the overwhelming pressures to save a deposit and found herself getting nowhere closer to her goal.

Voluntary Right to Buy (5)

Having read about the Right to Acquire scheme online, Donna thought her only realistic way of getting on the property ladder would be to buy her housing association home. Having rented the property for 19 years, Donna reached out to Stonewater to ask whether she would ever be given the chance to buy her three-bedroom home and it was then that she learned about the Voluntary Right to Buy (VRTB) pilot.

“The timing was perfect. I’d heard on the news a few years prior about the VRTB scheme being launched in London, but I had no idea that there were plans to trial it in the Midlands,” said Donna.

“Stonewater advised that the scheme would be launched in the coming months and that they’d send me information on whether or not I was able to enter the ballot. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best, now a year later, I actually do own my own home and I couldn’t feel luckier.”

Entering the ballot felt like buying a lottery ticket. With only 500 properties being picked, Donna felt like her chances were slim.

“Everyone I spoke to, most of my friends and neighbours, seemed to have kick-started the process and submitted their details,” Donna continued. “On the day the ballot was drawn, and I received confirmation that I had been picked, I just couldn’t believe it. My home was going to be officially mine.”

A year later from starting the process, Donna can’t believe that she has a mortgage in her name.

“When I was renting the property, I always felt on edge. Will I have to move in a year? Will my housing association sell the house and I’ll be left wondering what that means next for me and my family?

“These same questions prevented me from wanting to do anything to the house, as I always thought there was no point – not if it wasn’t really mine. Now, I’m excited to decorate the house and I couldn’t be more thankful to everyone who helped me at Stonewater with my application and making it possible.”