FIRST STEPS in Kensington
Information on shared ownership in Kensington
The Mayors FIRST STEPS programme offers a range of intermediate housing options to Londoners on low and modest incomes, which may enable you to buy with a smaller deposit or rent at a lower rate than is otherwise possible. The Mayor has partnered with property portal Share to Buy to advertise all FIRST STEPS properties in one place and www.sharetobuy.com/firststeps is the official website where you can find affordable homes to buy and rent in Kensington and across London. Use the tabs at the bottom of the screen to find more information on FIRST STEPS schemes available in Kensington, or start searching for properties by following these three simple steps:
9th April 2015
The Mayor of London has increased the income threshold criteria for households eligible for homes for rent and low cost home ownership.
23rd March 2015
A Home of Your Own, Moat and the GLA's open market shared ownership scheme is expanding! From 1 April 2015, anyone who currently lives and/or works in any London Borough, can apply for funding to purchase a new build or new conversion property in Merton or Croydon.
Rent to save in Kensington
Rent to Save is designed to enable aspiring home-owners to move into the home they have chosen, even if they have not yet been able to save a sufficient mortgage deposit.
As the rent will be at a lower than market rate, you will be able to save throughout the period of your tenancy. Using typical assumptions for rental levels and mortgage deposits for shared ownership, a household regularly saving just the difference between their rent and market rent would have a sufficient deposit in less than two and a half years.
The housing provider will discuss with you your savings goal from the outset of the tenancy and how you should work towards this. The housing provider will explain to you how they will review your savings goal on an ongoing basis to ensure you are on course to achieve it.
The key features of the product are:
- Let at up to 80% of the equivalent market rent for that property, with a fixed rate of inflation.
- The property would be let on an assured shorthold tenancy for a fixed term, up to five years, linked to (but not necessarily the same as) the required savings period. The period can be extended if you still want to buy but need a bit more time.
- The tenancy can be ended, subject to the terms of your tenancy agreement and initial fixed terms being spent, at any point.
- A savings plan will be put in place to help you raise a sufficient deposit to purchase on either shared ownership or equity loan terms within five years.
- The housing provider will discuss with you their regular reviews to check your progress in saving for a deposit.
- You can purchase on shared ownership or equity loan terms at any point in the tenancy, subject to still being eligible (see the ‘Am I eligible?’ page)
Availability of Rent to Save properties is currently limited as the product is due to rolled out from April 2013 onwards, but you can register for alerts on sharetobuy.com for when such properties are uploaded and from time to time you can also find Rent to buy properties and Intermediate Market Rent apartments at www.sharetobuy.com/firststeps. Share to buy is an affordable homes property portal provider and the official partner of the GLA and the Mayor of London in delivering the FIRST STEPS property portal.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the wealthiest borough in England. Situated immediately to the west of the City of Westminster, it contains major museums in South Kensington as well as some of the major department stores including Harrods. The borough is home to the Notting Hill Carnival, which is the largest in Europe. It also contains many of the most exclusive residential districts in London, which are among the most expensive in the world. For transport the borough is well served with 12 underground stations on six different lines. There is a wide range of schools including the famous Lycee Francais. Affordable housing is generally to be found at the northern boundaries of the borough in North Kensington.