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Mayor Delivers £220m Funding Boost for Low Cost Homes to Buy
Edward Ng - January 6, 2015

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson announced his intention for millions of pounds of funding for two new schemes to help Londoners into affordable home ownership and accelerate the delivery of new homes.

Shared ownership helps people on low to medium incomes own a home, requiring much lower deposits, and will be given a further funding boost of up to £180 million with The Mayor’s First Steps Challenge Fund. The Fund aims to accelerate the delivery of 4,000 new homes between 2015 and 2020 and is being made available on a recoverable basis so that money can be reinvested to provide more opportunities for affordable home seekers, helping achieve the Mayor’s aim of assisting 250,000 Londoners into low cost housing by 2025.

The Mayor is also giving up to £40 million of loan finance to Gentoo’s Genie for a new innovative housing product where buyers will need no deposit or mortgage to purchase their home and at the end of the agreement customers own 100 per cent of the home outright. The scheme aims to deliver 2,000 new homes over the next 10 years, helping people who would struggle to save a large deposit for a mortgage.

The Mayor has already made considerable efforts to help Londoners to own their own home with over 50,000 people expected to be helped into home ownership through his First Steps scheme over the course of his two Mayoral terms. He has also moved to remove red tape and bureaucracy in the application and purchase process, providing greater choice and flexibility for purchasers. Alongside steps to improve the mobility options available to existing purchasers of First Steps homes who need to move for family or employment reasons.

The Mayor made the announcements today as he visited Erith Park in Bexley, a major new regeneration project, with 80 per cent affordable rent and shared ownership homes. The Mayor joined two families who will be moving into shared ownership homes for their first visit to their new homes. He also met one of the residents of the former estate who moved into her new home in December.

The transformation of Erith Park is being delivered by Orbit Group, in partnership with Wates Living Space, London Borough of Bexley and the local community. The Mayor has awarded the project £23 million from his affordable housing funding. The site was formerly known as the Larner Road estate, which originally had a large number of single occupancy flats and suffered from high crime levels, making it undesirable for many local families.

The first part of the major regeneration project will deliver 343 new homes, including three & four bedroomed family homes with gardens, with a three-bedroom shared ownership house costing approximately £240,000. Erith Park will provide a mix of homes for affordable rent, shared ownership and outright sale and will include 60 of the original households who have chosen to remain in the area. Phase 2 of the scheme will include 244 homes and, subject to planning permission, Orbit anticipates starting on site by March 2015.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:

“Shared ownership is crucial in helping the unprecedented numbers of people in London desperate for good quality low cost housing. Families need larger properties and Erith Park is testament to the number of well-designed affordable three bedroom family homes with gardens that can be delivered with good planning, major regeneration and investment. I want the funding announced today to help thousands more Londoners own homes and create more developments like Erith Park delivering excellent affordable properties.“