Affordable homes specialist L&Q and Metroplitan Home Ownership (MHO) in partnership with the Mayor of London and the Homes and Communities Agency have launched FIRST STEPS, a new affordable homes website aimed at helping Londoners onto the housing ladder.
Housing association L&Q and MHO are the Local HomeBuy agents for London and work in partnership to offer simple access to help first time buyers rent or purchase an affordable home.
Since 2006 the housing associations had jointly managed the ‘HousingOptions’ service across London. This new FIRST STEPS brand replaces this and includes a brand new website, firststepslondon.org, to make it easier for potential customers to search for available affordable homes, work out what they can afford and to apply for the homeownership products on offer.
FIRST STEPS is London’s free one-stop service to help people find new homes to buy or rent for less. Itoffers free and impartial advice and will help match customers to the home that’s just right for them.
FIRST STEPS works with over 40 affordable housing providers to offer a wide range of newly built and resale homes across the capital, and is predicted to handle 30,000 applications from first time buyers in London every year.
On the website customers can search for affordable homes offered for sale by housing associations and new home builders in London that are available through low cost home ownership products such as Shared Ownership and Equity Loans, including the newly announced FirstBuy scheme.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The capital is a fantastic city to live in, but for those on lower or middle incomes, getting on to the housing ladder can be extremely tough. So it is excellent news that we are closing in on delivering this record target of 50,000 new affordable homes, in spite of some of the worst economic conditions for many years. This, along with a great new website, will go a long way to helping many more Londoners into affordable homes and, if they wish, to take the first step into home ownership.”
Bernie Conroy, MHO Managing Director, commented: "We are delighted to be able to offer Londoners an improved service when looking for a home to buy or rent for less. www.firststepslondon.org offers Londoners a smooth customer journey, a fresh design, improved usability, a shorter application form and an affordability calculator to help our customers to get a clear view of what they can afford when searching for a home.”
Jerome Geoghegan, Group Director of Development, Marketing and Sales at L&Q, said: ““Many Londoners dream of owning their own home and FIRST STEPS can help them to do just that. The demand for different home ownership products to meet different incomes and circumstances is only set to grow. FIRST STEPS, the market leading gateway to all intermediate homeownership products across London, will help us respond to this demand. We are proud to be able to continue to offer Londoners the support they need.”