How Derbyshire couple who struggled to get on housing ladder landed dream home

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A Derbyshire couple who have spent years struggling to get on the housing ladder have become the first in the region to buy their home under a new right to buy scheme.

The Hunt family, from Somercotes, have bought their two-bed housing association home from Futures Housing Group using the Government’s Voluntary Right To Buy scheme.

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Anika and Steven Hunt, who have two children, are now proud home owners having struggled for years to get onto the property ladder.

Steven, 33, said: “It’s unbelievable to be a homeowner, it’s still sinking in. To know that this is now ours is a great feeling. Without Voluntary Right to Buy I don’t think we would be on the property ladder. We’d been trying to apply for a bigger house and we were unsuccessful and then I thought ‘I can’t keep doing this’, so we decided to try and buy this one and make it into a three-bed. I couldn’t believe it when we were told we were the first in the Midlands to get a house under the Voluntary Right to Buy pilot, I thought that there must have been people before us!”

Anika, also 33, said: “Things never went for us with regards getting on to the property ladder. We were living with parents and saving up and then we were renting privately. We were also homeless for a year.

“This is one of the best areas we’ve ever lived in, it’s been lovely. All the neighbours are lovely. Everything has just fit into place.”

Futures Housing Group, which manages 10,000 homes throughout the region, helped launch the government’s voluntary right to buy pilot last August when Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire visited their head office in Ripley. The scheme invited eligible housing association tenants to apply for a discount of up to £80,900 to buy their home.

Lindsey Williams, Futures chief executive, said: “One of the most important things about the voluntary right to buy pilot is that we can keep 100 percent of the sale proceeds so that we can replace the homes we sell with new affordable housing and support someone else.”