London Mayor commits to shared ownership


London Mayor Boris Johnson has directed the Greater London Authority (GLA) to buy sites for shared ownership homes in areas such as housing zones, and announced a deal to deliver 1000 such homes with funding from institutional investors.

The move to buy land for shared ownership homes follows GLA’s success in bringing its own surplus sites to market. The London Mayor is already supporting shared ownership through the First Steps programme, which has to date backed 52,000 households. Johnson has pledged to double the number of shared ownership units built in London by 2020, a move that aligns with Chancellor George Osborne’s aspiration to extend routes to home ownership.

In a move towards delivering on that target, Chaco and Horizon Infrastructure, in partnership with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, have been allocated £45m from the First Steps Challenge Fund.  A further £120m from long-term private sector investment will add to the Mayor’s loan funding. The fund is aimed at attracting investment from institutions such as pension funds and insurance companies to build part-buy, part-rent housing for low and middle income Londoners. The GLA will contribute £22.5m to the development, which will be added to by pension funds and other institutional investors, and repaid within 15 years with interest.

Both deals will deliver around 500 units. Chaco is working with housing association partner Genesis to develop a structure to deliver the units.

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