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Our children are struggling to own homes half the size we did at their age

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I’m from the baby boomer generation, brought up in an era of relatively affordable housing and used to an upward trajectory in the value of our homes. Whilst my generation is sitting on a good deal of housing equity, we are also feeling uneasy watching our children struggle to own homes half the size we did at their age.

There are unprecedented pressures in the market causing this struggle. There simply aren’t enough homes being built and house prices and private rents continue to be increasingly unaffordable to many.

Many people aspire to own their own home, but the gap between renters and homeowners continues to widen. It is a struggle for many particularly in the private rented sector to cover the day to day living costs and pay ever rising rent, let alone save for a deposit.

This is why North East based social enterprise Gentoo Group created Genie, a no deposit no mortgage home ownership innovation that will ensure there are more accessible and affordable homes. This has already been successfully piloted and is due to launch in London in partnership with the GLA who recently announced a £40m investment into Genie.

It’s a start – but much more needs to be done. Politicians from all the parties need to work together to encourage the right homes to be built, they need to be accessible and affordable. This will require long term planning and a more innovative approach to how we use public sector land and encourage new models of delivery.

In a nutshell – we need more homes, we need more ways to access them and we need real support for those with the expertise to solve the housing crisis.


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Written by Steve Hicks | Posted on 26th February 2015

Steve Hicks has led the Genie business since mid-June 2011 when he was appointed Managing Director. Created in 2009 under the umbrella of the social enterprise Gentoo Group, Genie enables customers to access home ownership without the need for a mortgage or deposit. Established amid the financial crisis of 2008, it was the answer to Gentoo’s Chief Executive Peter Walls question “Where are our children going to live?”

Website: http://www.ownageniehome.co.uk