The former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has called Gentoo’s Genie Home Purchase Plan a ‘brilliant idea’ that could ‘make a huge national impact’.
Lord Prescott gave his backing to Genie in his latest Sunday Mirror column titled, ‘Government should be lending a hand to the poorest buyers’.
He said in the article:
“Buying a home has just become nigh on impossible for a lot of people struggling on low incomes.
“House ownership is already at the lowest rate in more than a quarter of a century, with just 65 per cent owning their own homes. And the number of people living in private rented accommodation has almost doubled over 10 years to 3.9million.”
“Home ownership without a deposit has been operating since 2011 where there are 60 such houses approved by the Financial Conduct Authority. It could make a huge national impact.
“This brilliant idea is called Genie and is run by a not-for-profit housing association in Sunderland called Gentoo. It buys a property then enters into a long-term agreement with a tenant who pays one month rent in advance and agrees a 30-year payment plan that will end with them owning the house.
“It’s like a mortgage but with no deposit or excessive interest rate payment. And you can enter into it even if your combined annual household income is just £18,000.”
Genie Home Purchase Plan is a 30-year homeownership plan developed by Gentoo Chief Executive Peter Walls.
Peter realised the impact expensive homes and huge deposits would have on his own children’s house-buying dreams so he came up with the idea for Genie, which would help people to buy their own home without the need for a deposit.
Since 2012 Genie has received backing from, among others, Lord Adonis in his Economic Review for the North East, former Housing Minister Baroness Hilary Armstrong, Lord Larry Whitty and Jack Dromney MP.
In all 76 homes in the North East have been ‘Genied’, helping people into homeownership and the plan is looking to move nationwide.
The Managing Director of Genie, Steve Hicks, said:
“It is excellent recognition of Genie’s potential that it has received such a positive endorsement from one of the UK’s most senior politicians.
“Gentoo’s Genie Home Purchase Plan was set up to help those who would not otherwise be able to get into home ownership.
“We have a large list of people who are waiting for Genie homes to become available and we are currently working with partners to make Genie available to as many people as possible.
“With Lord Prescott’s backing, along with that of other high-profile supporters, we hope to achieve this as soon as possible.”
Lord Prescott finished:
“Genie Investment doesn’t receive a subsidy. It is looking to expand and is raising £60million equity from a public/private partnership to help thousands of people on low incomes rent a home.”