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Couple settle into dream home as Rural Housing Week gets underway
As events take place across the country to mark Rural Housing Week, a Staffordshire couple are settling into a new home in the village of Gnosall thanks to the area’s leading housing association.
Gill and Steve Dimelow thought they would never get back on the housing ladder until they heard about a new development by Stafford and Rural Homes.
Set in the heart of the Staffordshire Countryside, Osborne Park includes a number of properties for shared ownership and they’re now providing the ideal solution for many people who would otherwise be priced out of the housing market.
Gill and Steve were both divorcees when they met, and although they had been homeowners in the past, they thought they would never be in the position to buy a home together.
“We are both in our 50s and thought we would be too old to get a mortgage and resigned ourselves to living in private rental accommodation with all the uncertainty that brings,” explained Gill, who works as a Medical Secretary at Stafford Hospital.
“We had never considered shared ownership until my son-in-law told us of his experience of a similar scheme in Stoke and how it had helped him onto the property ladder.
“When we heard about an open day here at Osborne Park we thought we would have a look around and just a few months later we are settling in nicely into our new home!”
Steve, who also works at the hospital as a painter and decorator, says that the process of buying into a shared ownership property was a straightforward one – with SARH providing help and support at every step.
“It couldn’t have been easier,” Steve said. “Although we still had to find a deposit it was not as large as one we would have to find if we were buying outright and with a smaller mortgage we are able to pay off the finance before we retire.”
Welcoming the couple to their new home, Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive said: “We’re delighted that Steve and Gill have managed to find their dream home and their story demonstrates just how important shared ownership is in today’s expensive housing market.
“As well as being a fantastic way for young couples and single people to get onto the housing ladder, such schemes also provide others with a way back into home ownership following a divorce or other change in circumstances.
“At the same time, developments like Osborne Park are helping to meet clearly identified housing needs in rural areas that are seeing an increasing problem when it comes to affordable housing.”
The shortage of affordable housing in smaller towns and villages is being put in the spotlight throughout Rural Housing Week (July 11-17) which is organised by the National Housing Federation. As well as highlighting rural housing issues, it aims to showcase housing associations’ innovative solutions for tackling them, including supporting rural communities through the provision of affordable housing.
The development of 20 new homes in Gnosall includes a mix of 2 and 3 bedroom homes for both rent and shared ownership. Further details, and information about other SARH properties, are available online where people can also register their interest in renting or shared ownership.