Boris Johnson has announced a £40m funding deal which will see at least 2,000 affordable new homes built and sold on a ‘no deposit, no mortgage’ basis.
The funding has been awarded to Gentoo Genie which sells homes to buyers over a thirty year period, with the buyer gaining a larger share in the property each time they make a monthly payment.
Unlike most shared ownership schemes, buyers don’t need a deposit or a mortgage to take part in the Genie scheme.
The firm’s Managing Director, Steve Hicks, said: “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.”
Mr Johnson has also announced a further £180m for traditional shared ownership schemes are meant to help people on low to medium incomes buy a home by requiring lower upfront deposits.
Speaking on Monday, the Mayor said: “Shared ownership is crucial in helping the unprecedented numbers of people in London desperate for good quality low cost housing.”
However Darren Johnson, a Green party member on the London Assembly, says such schemes are now unaffordable to many Londoners.
He wants the Mayor to review their affordability after the average minimum income needed to participate grew from £33k in 2008 to £38k last year.
Government statistics show that in some boroughs the amount is even higher, potential buyers in Islington needing to earn £43k, while in Wandsworth buyers need at least £49k.
He said: “These homes are becoming ever less affordable, especially in inner London, and are out of the reach of many key workers.”
“The Mayor needs to explore alternative models like community land trusts, which could provide permanently affordable home ownership options. His funding for the Gentoo Genie scheme is a welcome innovation.
“But he also needs to lobby for policies to stabilise the wider housing market, such as a land value tax, and for rent controls to help the huge number of people stuck in the overpriced private rented sector.”
Labour’s Assembly housing spokesperson, Tom Copley, welcomed today’s announcement but said “the small number of homes it will deliver represents a drop in the ocean compared with what London is crying out for.”