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Affordable housing


An affordable house is a house that you rent or buy, below the current market value. This is usually for approximately 80% of the amount you would pay on similar properties.

You can get an affordable home in one of two ways:

  • Rent a home (from registered housing providers, this includes former council housing)
  • Buy a home (through Help to Buy schemes or low cost home ownership)

Renting a home - affordable rent

Affordable rented homes are houses that you rent for up to a maximum of 80% of the rent charged on similar properties. Our Finding a home to rent page provides more information about how to apply to rent affordable housing.

Newly built affordable rented homes

We are also working with house builders to provide newly built affordable houses for rent throughout the county.

Apply for a newly built affordable rented home

When the houses are ready, they are advertised on the home page of Durham Key Options website. To see if a property is available for rent:

  1. Click on the 'Property search' link at the top of any page on the Durham Key Options website.
  2. Select 'CBL Property'.
  3. Enter the area you are interested in, in the 'Enter a location' box.
  4. Click on the 'Search' button.
  5. Scroll through the results to see if there are any newly built homes listed. 

Before you can apply for a property, you must register with Durham Key Options. Once registered, you can bid for a property - either online or by phone.

Buying a home

We work with developers to make houses more affordable to buy. Currently the following schemes are available through our Discounted Sales scheme:

Contact the housing developers directly for more information, and information on how to apply. 

What is the Discounted Sales Scheme?

Under the Discounted Sales Scheme, you can buy a new property below market value (usually between 20% and 30% below). A restriction is put on the property's Land Registry Title. This is to ensure that the even if the property value increases, if it is sold in future, the same discounted rate (that was applied when it was bought) will be applied to the selling price.

What are Help to Buy schemes

If you're a first time buyer, or if you want to buy a bigger house, the Help to Buy scheme may enable you to do this.  To see where Help to Buy schemes are available in your area, check individual house builders' websites, where they have information on any schemes that they offer.

What is the Shared Ownership Scheme? 

Shared ownership allows you to buy a house by buying between 25% and 75% of the property, and then buying additional shares as and when you can afford it. You need a mortgage for the part you own, and you pay rent on the part you don't own. The part you don't own is owned by the landlord.

If you decide to sell the house, and you don't own 100%, your landlord may buy back your shares, or nominate someone to buy your shares. If you do own 100%, you can  sell it on the open market. The shares you sell will be sold at market value, so you will benefit if your property has increased in value.

Contact us
Housing Development and Delivery
03000 265 263
Our address is:
  • Room 5/122
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UL
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