Intermediate housing

What is intermediate housing?

Intermediate housing or affordable housing, covers a range of schemes to help you buy or rent a home that you can afford.

Buying affordable housing is often referred to as shared ownership because you buy a share of the property and pay a rent on the remainder of the property. When you can afford to, you can increase the share you own and reduce your rent.

Intermediate housing is also available to rent. You rent a newly built home for less than you would expect to pay for a similar home on the open market. Typically, rents may be charged at a level up to 80 per cent of the local market rent, depending on location. After five years you have the option to buy the home through shared ownership, though you do not have to.

Kensington and Chelsea is the most expensive part of the country in which to rent or buy property. The Council supports the development of affordable ownership schemes for people who cannot afford to buy a home on the open market without financial help.

We will give priority to people who meet the following criteria (in strict order of priority):

  • Council or housing association tenants living in the borough
  • people the Council has placed in temporary accommodation and has accepted a duty to rehouse
  • people who live and work in the borough
  • people who live in the borough
  • people who work in the borough.

Intermediate housing to buy

As well as meeting the priorities above, you must also:

  • have a gross household income of less than £71,000 per annum when applying to buy a one or two bedroom property or up to £85,000 per annum when applying to buy a family sized property (three bedrooms or more)
  • be a British or EU/EEA citizen, or you have indefinite leave to remain. If you do not have indefinite leave to remain you can apply for both rental and purchasing schemes but you should be aware that you may have trouble getting a mortgage. If you are unable to get a mortgage, then you will not be able to buy a property
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • be a first time buyer, or if you already own a home anywhere in the world, you must be willing to sell your share in it.

As a general rule, you need a minimum income of £18,000 if you are single and £21,000 if you are applying as a couple. If you have children, you must add £2,000 for each child to these amounts. You will also need at least £3,000 to cover legal costs and survey fees. These are minimum amounts: you may need a higher income and more savings, depending on the scheme.

What sort of properties are available?

Properties are either newly built, as part of a housing development, or houses which have been bought on the open market, for example street properties which have been converted into flats. They are usually flats, with one or two bedrooms. Some are adapted for people with mobility difficulties. Shared ownership properties also become available through re-sales, when owners decide to sell. The prices for affordable ownership properties are based on an independent market valuation. This means that larger properties will cost more than smaller properties, and that newly built properties will usually cost more than similar older properties.

Register for Affordable Homes

If you are interested in affordable housing, you need to register with Share to Buy. You can then see the properties that are available throughout London.

Find out what properties are currently available in Kensington and Chelsea.

Intermediate housing to rent

The Royal Borough will shortly be advertising some properties under its intermediate rent scheme. The scheme offers properties at a rent level above those charged at a social rent but lower than the local private rented market.

Why do we have intermediate rent properties?

The aim of the scheme is to help the Council to preserve mixed income neighbourhoods by offering affordable housing solutions to those who are unable to access social housing but also unable to afford market rents.

Eligibility criteria

Your household must:

  • earn more than £20,000 gross per annum
  • not earn more than £71,000 gross per annum with regard to one and two bedroom properties
  • not earn more than £85,000 gross per annum with regard to properties with three bedrooms or more
  • have savings and capital interest worth less than £100,000
  • not already part or fully own your own home
  • not have had rent arrears during the previous 12 months or be in breach of your current tenancy agreement
  • not have anyone on a temporary work contract with less than six months remaining
  • not have an adverse credit history
  • not include anyone with their name on a mortgage
  • not include anyone with less than six months' leave to remain in the country.

How will the Council choose who to rent to?

When a property becomes available the Council will advertise it on this web page. The property will be banded according to how much you need to earn to be able to apply to rent it.

First preference will be given to any applicant with a social tenancy within the Royal Borough. Length of tenancy will be used to differentiate between applicants.

Second preference will be given to any applicant who is homeless and in priority need and has been placed by the Royal Borough in temporary accommodation and a duty to rehouse has been accepted by the Royal Borough. Date of homeless application will be used to differentiate between applicants.

Third preference will be given to applicants whose principal home is in the Royal Borough and who work in the Royal Borough. In the event of two or more applicants meeting the criteria, the property will be awarded to the individual who has lived in the Royal Borough the longest. 

Fourth preference will be given to applicants whose principal home is in the Royal Borough but do not work in the Royal Borough. Length of residency will be used to differentiate between applicants.

Fifth preference will be given to applicants who work in the Royal Borough and live elsewhere. Greatest length of confirmed employment within the Royal Borough will be used to differentiate between households.

Find out what properties are currently available in Kensington and Chelsea.

Contact us

You can email any queries to sharedownership@rbkc.gov.uk or IntermediateRent@rbkc.gov.uk.

More information

The Council's Allocations policy for intermediate housing, explains in more detail how we prioritise applicants to buy and rent intermediate housing.

The Intermediate Rent Tenancy Policy sets out the approach to issuing and reissuing tenancies to the Council’s intermediate rent housing.