Property industry engages with local Government on using PRS to tackle housing crisis

A thriving private rented sector offers a unique chance to help solve the housing crisis and provide high quality, secure and affordable homes, industry leaders will tell the Association of Labour Councillors Conference on Sunday.

The conference will hear from the British Property Federation (BPF) and Grainger plc how local authorities can take advantage of the opportunities created by institutional investment in the professional ‘build to rent’ sector as momentum builds across the property industry and within Government. Recent research commissioned by the BPF revealed that 8% of the homes built in London last year were purpose-built rental accommodation.

Speakers at the workshop will include Councillor Amy Cross of Blackpool Borough Council, Councillor James Alexander, Leader of York Council, and Councillor David Elsmere, Leader of Ipswich Borough Council, who will discuss how positive engagement between the property industry and local Government will unlock housing supply in the UK in the coming years.

The event follows on from this week’s BPF Residential Conference, where Roberta Blackman-Woods, shadow planning minister, reaffirmed the Labour party’s commitment to allowing a strong PRS backed by institutional landlords in the UK, and expressed a wish to engage with the industry to help unearth what more can be done from a planning perspective to drive institutional investment into high quality, new build PRS homes.

Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the BPF, said:

“With Britain building less than half the number of homes needed to keep up with demand and more and more people being subsequently priced out of the market, a thriving build-to-rent sector offers a unique chance to get people living with security and affordability as soon as possible.

“Building 200,000 homes a year is a necessary and therefore realistic target for future UK house building. Anything less will marginalise a generation from access to housing. If Labour is to deliver it will require housing delivery across all tenures and the support of local councils. Build-to-rent can help local authorities deliver quality housing for those who can’t buy, or won’t get access to a social housing.”

Kurt Mueller, director of corporate affairs at Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord and property manager, said:

“We are looking forward to some exciting discussions this weekend, as the property industry and local Government look to work to together in developing the private rented sector so that it can help increase housing supply and better meet the needs of hard working individuals and struggling families.”