Stonewater helps Herefordshire couple onto the property ladder

Kelly and Colin Hughes had always dreamed of owning their own home.

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But property prices in the village of Brimfield in Herefordshire, where the couple were settled with their three boys, Josh, aged 18, Luke, aged 13 and nine-year-old Liam, meant that renting an affordable property was their only option.

Now the family-of-five are busy making plans for the future, after being supported by Stonewater to buy the three-bedroom, semi-detached house they had been renting for more than seven years.

“The day the property became ours was one of the happiest days of my life,” says Kelly. “Although we’ve been living in the property since 2012, knowing it’s ours now is absolutely wonderful. Buying your own home is always stressful but we were supported by Stonewater all the way.”

Kelly, aged 38, says she and her husband Colin had looked at previous schemes to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder but nothing was right for them.

The government’s new Voluntary Right to Buy (VRTB) aims to give tenants the option of owning their homes, and Stonewater is proud to be one of the housing associations involved in the VRTB pilot currently running in the region.

VRTB is very different from the original Right to Buy policy which applies largely to tenants of current or former local authority homes. And the new scheme includes a commitment that every home sold will be replaced with at least one new social or affordable home.

Kelly says: “We’ve always wanted the opportunity to buy our own property, but we didn’t want to move away from Brimfield and we just couldn’t afford it. We’ve got family in the area, including my sister who lives in the village. Our eldest son has an apprenticeship locally and our other two boys are settled at local schools.

“Having the opportunity to buy the property we were actually living in was the perfect solution for us.”