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London Mayor greets residents of first “affordable” housing scheme for middle-income earners

The first residents of an “affordable” housing scheme aimed at middle-income earners had a visit from London mayor Sadiq Khan yesterday as he arrived to meet and greet the new tenants.

The London Living Rent homes are a first for the capital; the 76 homes at County House, Beckenham, kickstart the brand as part of the Mayor’s affordable homes programme. Living Rent is set at a third of the average local income, the idea being this will ease the costs of renting so the tenants can afford to save up for a deposit to buy a home.

The properties are managed and owned by Hyde Housing Association. According to City Hall they are up to 30% cheaper than local market rents and are based on one-third of median gross household income for Bromley.

Rents at County House are set at £965 per month for a one-bed property and £1,072 for a two-bed. This compares to average rents of up to £1,300 for a one-bed and up to £1,550 for a two-bed in Beckenham – leading to savings of between £300 and £400 a month.

Under the initiative, it is said tenants can put the money towards saving for a deposit, and have the chance to buy the home they are living in on a shared-ownership basis.

“It is simply unacceptable that hard-working Londoners who fuel the economy of our great city are left in a position where they struggle to make ends meet,” said Khan. “Londoners know that fixing the housing crisis will be a marathon and not a sprint, but I am determined to do everything in my power to deliver more new and genuinely affordable homes to buy and rent.

“It was fantastic to see first-hand how my new London Living Rent is really helping Londoners afford to rent a home in the capital and crucially begin saving to get themselves on the property ladder. I welcome Hyde’s commitment to delivering these historic London Living Rent homes and investing in our new partnership to get on and build more new affordable homes for Londoners.”

Yesterday, the Mayor also announced a new partnership with Hyde Housing to begin building 5,000 new homes over the next five years with the help of £115 million City Hall funding. The “ambition” is that 60% (3,000) of these homes will be “genuinely affordable” to buy and rent.

Housing associations are being given the flexibility to swap homes between London Living Rent and shared ownership depending on local circumstances when homes are completed.

Elaine Bailey, chief executive of the Hyde Group, said: “The number of working people in London who earn a decent wage but can’t get on the property ladder is growing all the time. These living rent properties demonstrate the Mayor of London and the Hyde Group’s desire to provide genuinely affordable homes for Londoners. We look forward to continuing our work with the Mayor and providing more London Living Rent homes for local residents.”

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