An innovative route through rental to home ownership is being launched in the south east, following success in the north east of England.
Gentoo’s Genie home purchase plan is being backed by £40 million of loan finance from the London mayor Boris Johnson. With the backing now in place, Gentoo is looking for development sites where it can create its first 500 homes under the new arrangement.
The project allows individuals who would not otherwise get the chance to buy, a way to purchase their own home. It does not require a large deposit, and allows long term renters to convert their interest into home ownership. It has already been tested in the north east, with 88 families now in homes provided under Genie.
“We set up Genie as a way to help those people who want to get onto the housing ladder but who haven’t been able to because of a number of reasons, including saving for a deposit while renting,” said Genie managing director Steve Hicks. “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.”
Genie is designed for first time buyers and long term renters. By overpaying on rent in a structured way, residents are able to buy a growing share of the home they live in, without the need to obtain a mortgage or find a deposit.
Funding is coming from the mayor’s Revolving Fund which gives recoverable loans to help fund new forms of affordable housing. Mayor Johnson commented: “This is one of a number of innovative schemes I’m funding to help the thousands of people looking for affordable properties in the capital. Plans like this provide more accessibility and flexibility for purchasers who may struggle to save large deposits and my funding will help accelerate the delivery of much needed new homes across London.”
Gentoo chief executive Peter Walls added: “We created Genie after asking ourselves the question where are our children going to live? We recognised that there is a large section of society who would like to own their own home but who have been unable to.”
“Genie is an ethical and unique product that helps people to access affordable homes in the locations they want to live. We’re thrilled that the GLA has recognised Genie is an innovative solution to help these people and we look forward to seeing people move into their own homes.”