Housing minister calls for 'ambitious' landlords
Published by Sarah Ashcroft
Housing minister Mark Prisk has called on housing associations and landlords to "step up to the plate" and come up with ambitious plans for building more homes.
He is set to call a summit in the early autumn to hear how landlords intend to build the properties needed in the UK.
Speaking at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) conference, he said that the government would be expecting housing associations to create plans to maximise their own financial contribution and construct much-needed properties.
He noted these plans will be in return for the £3.3 billion in grants for the industry that were announced at the spending review.
Mr Prisk explained the government is equally ambitious for the private rental sector, noting that now is the time for the industry to "move further and faster".
In his speech, the housing minister pointed to the fact demand for properties in this sector has grown dramatically, with 3.8 million households now renting their homes and 1.5 million new properties coming to the market in the last seven years.
"This growth has been welcome, but much of it has so far come from small scale, buy-to-let
landlords. Now is the time to move further and faster, particularly by bringing in other new players into the market," he added.
The government has called for a larger and significantly improved private rental sector in the UK, which may be brought about by further institutional investors joining the market, as they have in Germany, Switzerland and the US.
"Evidence from those markets shows that where institutional investment is strong, the costs are driven down and the sector becomes more professional," Mr Prisk explained, before announcing that the Built to Rent Fund has received bids in its first round that will see 10,000 rental homes being constructed.
Initial contracts are due to be signed later this summer, before a second round of bidding will take place, beginning in September.
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Published on: July 18, 2013
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