52,000 Londoners helped into Mayor’s low deposit shared ownership homes

  • Mayor’s shared ownership scheme helps 52,038 Londoners into 36,208 new homes
  • Mayor announces last two of his 20 housing zones set to deliver 53,000 new homes as he expands programme for ten new zones across capital

More than 52,000 Londoners on modest incomes have moved into new homes all across the capital, as part of the Mayor Boris Johnson’s successful First Steps housing scheme.

First Steps targets low and medium income Londoners and is designed to help people purchase a home at a lower cost than buying in the same neighbourhood on the open market. With large deposits being a major problem for many potential buyers, the scheme’s deposits start from as little as £5,000, averaging at £13,000, with average household wages of £37,000.

Today the Mayor visited the new Gallery Court, Fulbourne Road development in Waltham Forest to meet residents who are in the final stages of buying shared ownership homes. The site, a former camera factory, is part funded by the Mayor and developed by Sanctuary Group and includes a mixed tenure of 124 affordable rent, private and shared ownership new properties starting from £63,750 for a share of a one bedroom apartment. The 107 affordable properties at the site are targeted at local people on modest incomes.

The development is close to the Waltham Forest ‘Blackhorse Road’ housing zone, one of the Mayor’s 20 designated zones. The Mayor announced that areas in Merton and Lambeth have been designated zones as part of his commitment for 20 housing zones across the capital, delivering over 53,000 new homes, and unlocking £21.6 billion in investment.

The Mayor also revealed plans for 10 more housing zones to be designated by the end of his Mayoral term.

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.

“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 Sanctuary Housing Group has developed the new homes on Gallery Court, Fulbourne Road through its appointed contractor with contractor Ardmore Construction. The affordable units consist of 17 affordable rent houses, 35 affordable rent apartments, 13 intermediate rent apartments and 42 shared ownership apartments.

During the regeneration of the development Sanctuary Group prioritised offering training, apprenticeships and employment on the site to local people, particularly encouraging 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. That’s why Sanctuary is committed to building 17,000 low cost homes home ownership over the next 10 years, including a significant number of shared ownership homes across London.”

Having exceeded his manifesto to target 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.

Local resident Richard Twinn is purchasing a two bed shared ownership apartment at Gallery Court. He said:

“My partner and I work 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 Waltham Forest Blackhorse Road zone will receive over £44 million for 2,477 new homes (1,881 private with 596 affordable units) unlocking £1.8 billion in economic development value and creating 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 £200million of investment from developers for new building in the zone so far.”

The Mayor’s Housing Zone success builds upon his efforts to free up land for new housing, including the creation of the London Land Commission to identify all public land in London and strengthen its redevelopment alongside new transport infrastructure, the release of 99 per cent of all land held in City Hall’s land, and the establishment of the London Housing Bank to provide finance to accelerate the build-out of large sites.