View more on these topics

HCA proposes £135m affordable housing investment

The Homes and Communities Agency is planning a £135m investment programme to help first-time buyers in London and support affordable housing in the capital.

The funding package, launched in co-operation with London mayor Boris Johnson and housing association London & Quadrant, will aim to deliver 2,900 new affordable homes across a range of sites.

Some £42m out of the funding pot will help L&Q deliver 500 homes under its Up2U scheme.

This will offer tenants a discounted rent at 80% of the market rate in order to help prospective buyers save for a deposit.

The announcement of the funding package is set to trigger a further 900 affordable homes to rent on the sites concerned.

The remaining £93m will go towards kick-starting construction at five stalled development sites over the next 12 months.

Once completed the sites will account for an additional 1,500 homes, with a longer term-potential to provide another 6,000 units.

Boris Johnson, mayor of London, says: “The money we are investing today is a major shot in the arm for London’s development sector and for the economy.”

Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive of the HCA, says: “Our flexible investment approach means we’re able to respond quickly and effectively to bring forward affordable housing that would otherwise not get built.”

David Montague, chief executive at L&Q, says the Up2U product helps to restore the lack of buyer confidence by giving customers choice.

He says: “If consumers prefer not to buy now, they can pay a sub-market rent for as long as they wish.

“They can buy some of their home at a time of their choosing and pay a rent for the part they don’t own. Or they can buy outright.

“It is a straightforward offer which places the choice with the customer.”

Recommended

Business-to-business news in brief

  • HSBC launched a two-year fixed rate mortgage at 2.99% as it revealed that its mortgage application requests doubled in February compared with January 2009. The bank is also offering two new longer term fixed mortgages – a five-year deal at 3.99% and a 10-year loan at 4.98%. Martijn van der Heijden, head of mortgages at HSBC, said: “The feedback we have received from our customers is that the majority want to lock into today’s historically low interest rates.”
  • House prices drop a further 2.3%

    House prices declined by 2.3% in February, more than offsetting January’s 2% increase, shows the latest Halifax House Price Index.

    Way to go

    Last week the mortgage industry came together to celebrate at the Mortgage Strategy Awards, and despite the economic meltdown, a good time was had by all. But two industry stalwarts almost didn’t make it to the party.

    Newsletter

    News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

    Sign up