Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Offers a Foot-Up on the Property Ladder for Couples on Up to [Pounds Sterling]72,000; Mapping out a Plan: Boris Johnson Says His Plan Will Satisfy the "Majority of People Who Want a Share in the Equity of the Home"

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Offers a Foot-Up on the Property Ladder for Couples on Up to [Pounds Sterling]72,000; Mapping out a Plan: Boris Johnson Says His Plan Will Satisfy the "Majority of People Who Want a Share in the Equity of the Home"

Article excerpt

Byline: PIPPA CRERAR

BORIS JOHNSON today sought to kickstart the London housing market with a multi-billion-pound cash injection to help middle-income families.

The Mayor wants to give a third more Londoners a foot on the property ladder by raising the income threshold for publicly funded ownership schemes.

Households earning up to [pounds sterling]72,000 or a couple paying the basic rate of income tax will now be able to access help from which they were previously excluded.

Many middle-income families missed out on the housing boom as they were considered too wealthy for government subsidies, but still could not afford to buy a home.

Mr Johnson's [pounds sterling]5 billion housing strategy represents a shift from the previous administration's focus on providing more social rented housing towards the Thatcherite ideal of greater home ownership.

Funding will be used to develop subsidised rent and rent-to-buy schemes, which could be sold at a profit or turned into permanent affordable homes when property prices rise again.

In a bid to support workers from all industries, rather than exclusively key workers such as nurses and teachers, eligibility for schemes will no longer be based on employment.

"The strategy focuses not only on the issues facing the housing market in these difficult times but the historic problems of affordability, homelessness and overcrowding," the Mayor said.

"It is designed to meet the needs of ' The people a share in of their

Londoners aspiring to get a foot on the housing ladder." Mr Johnson added: "If you look into their hearts, the overwhelming majority of people want to have at least a share in the equity of their own home...

But that doesn't mean for a second we should take our foot off the gas on delivering social rented homes." He suggested the public sector could take a stake in the homes of families struggling to pay their mortgage which it would sell back to them when their financial circumstances improved. The Mayor was unable to say how many affordable homes had been delivered in London since he took over at City Hall. …

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