By Bea Patel, TLE Property Editor and Director of Shop for an Agent
More than 52,000 Londoners have moved into new homes across the capital, as part of the Mayor Boris Johnson’s First Steps housing scheme.
The scheme targets low and medium income Londoners and helps them purchase a home at a lower cost than buying in the same neighbourhood on the open market. With many potential buyers struggling to save the large deposits required to get onto the property ladder, the scheme’s deposits starts from £5,000, averaging at £13,000 with an average household income of £37,000.
Earlier this month, the Mayor visited residents in the final stages of buying shared ownership homes at the new Gallery Court, Fulbourne Road development in Waltham Forest. Part funded by the Mayor and developed by Sanctuary Group, the development is close to the Waltham Forest ‘Blackhorse Road’ housing zone, one of the Mayor’s 20 designated zones. The site has 107 affordable properties targeted at local people on modest incomes.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “More than 52,000 Londoners have been able to get on to the housing ladder thanks to the First Steps scheme, and I am determined to help even more achieve their dream of owning their own home. Dynamic developments like Gallery Court are testament to this success and demonstrate why I’ve allocated millions of extra funding for shared ownership.”
Local resident Richard Twinn is purchasing a two bed shared ownership apartment at Gallery Court. He said: “My partner and I need a reasonable commute to work. We had been looking at buying our first home but the property market here meant that they were beyond our reach. Thanks to shared ownership we are now able to get our first step on the property ladder and we can’t wait to move in.”
The Sanctuary Group prioritised offering training, apprenticeships and employment on site to local people. It also encouraged women into roles through the ‘Women in Construction’ scheme. Ian McDermott, Chief Operating Officer for Sanctuary Group said: “Developments like Gallery Court are giving people the opportunity to buy homes they would never be able to afford on the open market .We want to help families fulfil their ambitions of owning their own home.”
Having exceeded his manifesto target to help 50,000 people into intermediate homes, the Mayor wants to double the number of shared ownership units built in London by 2020, and again by 2025 to help an estimated 250,000 more Londoners access affordable homes to rent or buy.
The 20 zones are one of many measures contributing to the Mayor’s target of building nearly half a million homes over the next ten years. It will deliver over 53,000 new homes, unlock £21.6bn in investment and create over 120,000 new construction jobs. They will also regenerate 14 different estates, create 11 new bridges, improve or build 11 new schools, create 11 new parks, improve or create 11 new stations, nine health centres, eight civic facilities, six libraries and two churches.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson continues: “The next wave of new housing will be kick-started by my 20 Housing Zones, which are set to deliver over 50,000 mixed tenure homes at a fast pace. The zones are regenerating huge areas of the city and that’s why I am determined to create a further 10 delivering and continuing the investment, opportunity and much needed new housing across the capital.”
The Waltham Forest Blackhorse Road zone will receive over £44 million for 1,881 private and 596 affordable new homes. It will unlock £1.8bn in economic development value and create over 5,000 construction jobs between now and 2025.
Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing, Waltham Forest, said, “This development is one of many taking shape across the borough, helping us to achieve our commitment to build thousands of new homes in 2020 – half of which will be affordable.
“Earlier this year the Mayor of London approved our Housing Zone in Blackhorse Lane that will allow us to accelerate the delivery of new homes in that area, with the appropriate infrastructure to support new residents. We have managed to secure over £200 million of investment from developers for new building in the zone so far.”
Image credit: Greater London Authority (GLA)