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Mayor gives £220m funding boost for affordable homes

The mayor of London has unveiled a £220m funding boost for two major housing initiatives in London.

Boris Johnson said he will give £180m to the First Steps Challenge fund, to speed the delivery of 4,000 new homes between 2015 and 2020.

The fund was set up to deliver more affordable homes in the capital, including properties for shared ownership.

The money will be made available on a recoverable basis, so it can be reinvested and create further affordable homes in the capital.

Mr Johnson also announced a £40m loan for a housing project in the capital, where buyers will not require a deposit or mortgage to purchase a new home.

Gentoo’s Genie aims to deliver 2,000 homes over the next 10 years.

The loan will be taken from the mayor’s Housing Covenant revolving fund and will be repaid in full over the period.

The project will provide long-term home purchase plans for first-time buyers and long-term renters, which will enable them to buy shares in their home every time they make a monthly payment.

The team is looking for development opportunities to deliver its first 500 new homes in the Greater London area, with hopes that the first properties will be on the market later this year.

Gentoo Group chief executive Peter Walls said: “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.”

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “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.”

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