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New service launches to help Londoners take their FIRST STEPS onto the housing ladder

11 April 2011

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."

Metropolitan Home Ownership (MHO), part of Metropolitan Housing Partnership (MHP) and London and Quadrant (L&Q ), in association with the Mayor of London and the Homes and Communities Agency, today launched FIRST STEPS, an initiative aimed at helping Londoners onto the housing ladder. 

Since 2006, the two housing associations have jointly managed the ‘HousingOptions’ service to assist people in purchasing or renting a home in London. It is now replaced by FIRST STEPS which includes a brand new website to make it even easier for potential customers to search for available homes, work out what they can afford and to apply for the home ownership products that best suits them.

The FIRST STEPS website will make it even easier for potential customers to search for available homes for sale from housing associations and house builders. Customers will be able to work out what they can afford, and apply for low-cost home ownership products such as Shared Ownership and Equity Loans as well as the newly announced FirstBuy scheme.

Working with over 40 housing providers FIRST STEPS offers an exciting range of newly built and resale homes across the capital and is looking forward to handling a predicted 30,000 applications from first time buyers in London every year.

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, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer Londoners an improved service when looking for a home to buy or rent for less. FIRST STEPS 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 home ownership 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.”

FIRST STEPS website

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