Government to invest £400m in new homes for rent

by Sarah Ashcroft

A raft of new housing schemes could take place across the UK thanks to government cash, with the resulting buildings being designed specifically for private rent.

Housing minister Mark Prisk has confirmed that £400 million is being made available and has invited developers to bid for their share of it in order to carry out projects that involve the creation of new accommodation.

The only proviso is that any housing built using the money must be made available for private rent, which could help to increase the supply of dwellings for this purpose in the UK. It could also offer an opportunity for landlords to boost their property portfolios with the help of government funds.

Money is coming from the hugely successful £1 billion Build to Rent pot, which was set up to help private landlords looking to branch out and investors aiming to get involved in the market for the first time.

According to the housing minister, this scheme will work with as much as £10 billion in government guarantees to encourage people to make an investment in the private rental market.

Mr Prisk said: "The housing market is turning the corner, with starts-up a third compared to last year, and over 25,000 households helped into home ownership since 2010. But I want to go further, which is why I'm inviting bids for a share of up to half a billion pounds to help build a bigger, better private rented sector."

Southampton's Centenary Quay development was the first project to be given the green light through the Build to Rent deal. It was awarded funding in July and will lead to the creation of hundreds of new homes.

Mr Prisk added that he believes one result of the government's work will be a greater choice and improved quality of homes available on the rental market. This should make it easier for prospective tenants to find somewhere they really want to live.

Published on: September 17, 2013

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