The scheme is the only one of its kind in the UK and gives first time buyers a deposit to buy a property, which renting might otherwise prevent them saving for.
Rent to Home was initially launched in spring 2019, as part of The Cambridge’s ‘Making The Difference’ initiative.
The first two tenants were selected by ballot and each moved into a single occupancy apartment above the building society’s branch in Great Shelford in late 2019. A third moved into the Society’s flat above the Cottenham branch the following year.
The first tenant, Lucinda Bass, will move out of the rental property in Great Shelford in July, receiving 70% of her rent back (more than £20,000) as deposit and a Cambridge Building Society mortgage to purchase her first home, in Bedfordshire.
Lucinda said: “I am very grateful to The Cambridge for giving me this opportunity. It would have been a real struggle for me to save for a deposit, so winning this ballot has set me up for life.
“I whole-heartedly recommend that people put their names forward for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is a unique scheme that is fabulous for those who win through.”
Chief Commercial Officer, Carole Charter, said: “We are delighted to have been able to help Lucinda in this way and know what a difference it has made to her.
“We are very excited to see her move forward with her plans, to help her get on the housing ladder and buy her first home. We take our commitment to the community very seriously and know that without our help many people like Lucinda would struggle to have the home they need.
“Saving for a deposit of thousands of pounds is difficult and we see it as our duty as an independent mutual to make it easier for people to take that first step on the property ladder.”
The ballot to find two new tenants for the Great Shelford properties opens in August when The Cambridge’s other tenant is also due to move out. It will be open for one month.
The ballot winners will live in The Cambridge’s properties for a maximum of three years. After this term and upon securing a mortgage on their first property, The Cambridge will give them back up to 70% of the money they have paid towards their rent to use as a deposit on their new home.
Image: Chief Executive Officer, Peter Burrows and Lucinda