London Mayor pledges £220m to develop more than 4,000 low cost homes

London Mayor Boris Johnson has given a £220m funding boost to low cost housing in the capital.

Up to £180m will be made available through the First Steps challenge fund, supporting shared ownership options for low and modest income Londoners struggling to get onto the housing ladder. The funding is intended to accelerate the delivery of 4,000 homes between 2015 and 2020 and is being made available on a recoverable basis so money can be reinvested.

The Mayor is also giving up to £40m of loan finance to housing provider Gentoo’s innovative Genie Home Purchase Plan under a ten-year deal. The Genie product allows first time buyers and long term renters to purchase their home without first needing a deposit. This is the first time the scheme is being applied in London following Genie’s successful operation in the North East of England.

Steve Hicks, managing director of Genie, said: “We set up Genie as a way to help those people who want to get onto the housing ladder but who haven’t been able to because of a number of reasons, including saving for a deposit while renting. There has been a lack of innovation in the housing market which has left would-be homeowners feeling frustrated and unable to buy their own house. This 10 year partnership with the GLA will help customers into a minimum of 2,000 new homes in the capital who otherwise would have struggled to own their own homes, because of the difficult market conditions in London.”

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