Helping Ester buy her first home

Posted on 05 April 2024

Ester Folkerts, one of our new shared owners at Bluebell Heights, Denman Place, in Brighton has spoken about how happy she is with her new home. 

Ester said she never thought she’d be able to buy a home in Brighton, as house prices are so high in the city: “But when someone mentioned shared ownership, I thought it would be possible for me to own a home and for it still to be affordable.

"The first time I saw my apartment it was very emotional. To see the view from my balcony was overwhelming and freeing at the same time.”

Ester features in a film produced to mark the completion of 242 affordable homes, the latest to be built by Homes for Brighton & Hove, our partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council. 

Guy Slocombe, our Chief Investment Officer, said: “We’re really proud of our partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council. The partnership is an exemplar of how local authorities and housing associations can work together to deliver really good quality homes, cut housing waiting lists and provide families with a great start in life.

“Along with our Clarendon Place in Portslade, Homes for Brighton & Hove has delivered 346 affordable homes for people in the city in the past year or so. About half of them are for council rent, providing homes for more than 1,200 people.”

Bluebell Heights includes 127 homes for council rent, being let to people in housing need on the city’s housing register (including one wheelchair-accessible home). There are 113 shared ownership homes available to buy through Hyde New Homes and also two wheelchair accessible homes available for rent through Hyde.

The shared ownership homes give first time buyers a more affordable way to own a home. Homeowners buy a minimum 30% share in their home and pay rent to us for the remainder, with the chance to buy a bigger share over time.

The first residents started moving into their new homes in January 2024 and the final block was handed over in March.

Hannah, one of the new council tenants, said: “I am so very grateful to have been offered such a lovely secure home for my children. We now have somewhere to call home.”

Councillor Gill Williams, Chair of Brighton & Hove Council’s Housing & New Homes Committee, said: “What I’m most proud of is seeing the residents in the social rented flats sitting alongside the shared ownership flats, enjoying exactly the same facilities in these lovely homes.”