£400 million housing construction fund up for grabs, says housing minister


£400 million housing construction fund up for grabs, says housing minister

A £400 million pot has been put up by the government as it bids to encourage the development of more housing for private rent around the UK.

Housing minister Mark Prisk has announced applications for a share of the cash are now being invited. The money is part of the successful £1 billion Build to Rent fund, which aims to make it easier for developers to create new accommodation that can be used in the rental sector.

The politician is confident the scheme will persuade people to invest in property while also improving both the choice and quality of buildings for potential tenants around the UK.

Southampton's Centenary Quay development is the first project to be run under the Build to Rent initiative and it will result in the building of hundreds of new homes. All of these have been designed specifically with the idea of being rented out.

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."

He went on to explain the government is keen to add more flexibility to the private rented sector and suggested successful bids in the Build to Rent fund should include plans for supporting longer-term tenancies.

The government is keen to point out its work is already achieving great results, such as 334,000 new homes being built in England in the last three years. This is the highest level of new housing supply at any time since 2008.

It could also be good news for the construction sector, helping companies to perform well, make profits and generate job opportunities.

Build to Rent is just one of several government measures designed to trigger a rise in house building across the UK.