Wednesday 22 August 2012 8:48 pm

Montague calls for changes to rented sector

THE GOVERNMENT has today launched a long-awaited review of the private-rented housing market that calls for councils to waive affordable housing requirements on private rented schemes and for financial incentives to encourage investment into the sector. The review, conducted by 3i chairman Sir Adrian Montague, makes five recommendations to the government for encouraging large institutions to invest in privately rented homes to help meet demand. As well as waiving affordable housing requirements, these include making more public sector land available for private rented schemes and setting up a “task-force” of developers to advise the government and set standards. The report also recommends the government provide equity or debt funding to share the risk and help kickstart investment. Residential landlord Grainger today described the proposals as “a critical step forward for the faltering UK housing market”. Harry Downes, the founder of Fizzy Living, which has raised £30m to build rented flats in London said: “ It is very difficult to get funding for a development that isn’t going to be sold off. What we need is for banks to understand that the sector is a viable investment class.”