The government has announced changes to planning policy, so instead of developers being required to include a percentage of affordable homes in every new housing development, they will now have to build and sell starter homes instead.
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These properties will be sold at a discounted rate to first time buyers and the government has pledged to deliver 200k by 2020.
Squeezed Private Rental Sector This is all well and good for wannabe first time buyers, but it does nothing to resolve the current lack of properties in the private rental sector. Indeed, the British Property Federation (BPF) is warning that the government needs to do more to support the private sector.
The BPF points out that in many other countries, the private rental sector is thriving and people are used to living “in institutionally-backed, purpose-built, high quality rented accommodation for many years.”
“While we are not against owner occupation, and see starter homes as a welcome initiative, we are aware that such a policy is stoking demand for home ownership, rather than focusing on meeting supply.”
Build to Rent They say the government needs to place more focus on “build to rent” instead. This view is backed up by vocal tenants rights pressure group Generation Rent:
“Under the Prime Minister’s plans only 200,000 relatively well-off households will get to buy a home. But there are 5 million households who will remain stuck in private rented housing, paying out half of their income to their landlord.”