The private rented sector (PRS) is central to providing more housing stock for people in the UK, according to Housing minister, Mark Prisk.
Prisk said that successive governments have shifted between affordable housing and private ownership in trying to resolve the issue of a lack of available properties, meaning the PRS has been overlooked on many occasions.
However, Mr Prisk thinks this has been the wrong approach and is pleased that a “raft of new measures” are being rolled out in order to make the sector bigger and better than ever before.
With a survey by the University of Cambridge finding that the country will require an extra one million rental homes by 2021, the time for action is now if the future of the sector is to be safeguarded.
Writing in his blog on the Department for Communities and Local Government website, Mr Prisk revealed the £1 billion Build to Rent scheme, which offers finance for those planning to construct property specifically for private rent, is a step in the right direction.
He also pointed out £6.5 billion of loan guarantees have been made available so that organisations can invest in new privately rented homes.
Mr Prisk said: “I’m confident that we can leave a lasting legacy for both investors and tenants, driving up quality across the board and building the homes this country needs” .
In an effort to kickstart the PRS, the government has set up the Private Rented Sector Taskforce, headed up by Andrew Stanford. It’s main aim will be to bring in more large scale, institutional landlords, which should increase the quality of homes on the market.
Mr Prisk expects the first deal emanating from the Build to Rent project to be inked later this summer, while the body has already met with 200 private sector partners. Further down the line, the taskforce will help shape government policy in the area in an effort to introduce plans that are much more targeted than before.