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Purpose-built rentals pushed as housing shortage solution

build to rent

The British Property Federation (BPF) has called on the next government to set a bold target of 30,000 new build-to-rent homes a year to relieve pressures on the rental market.

Although there are now more than 100,000 completed BTR homes – and a further 160,000 in the pipeline – the UK still lags behind the US, Australia and other countries in delivering professionally managed homes at scale and at a range of price points, according to the property body.

It believes there should be a stamp duty exemption for new developments of more than 100 units, as well as a requirement for local authorities to assess the need for professionally rented homes as part of Local Plans and an extension of the PRS Housing Guarantee Scheme, allowing BTR developers to raise debt with a government guarantee.


As part of the federation’s manifesto, Building for Generations, it suggests boosting the purpose-built student accommodation sector to ensure the UK can support universities. This could include the introduction of a needs assessments for student accommodation – similar to housing need evaluations – so local authorities must consider it as part of Local Plans.

Affordable student accommodation could also be exempt from Community Infrastructure Levy tax on new developments, in line with affordable housing, says BPF, to support delivery at lower price points


Providing more affordable housing, market rental homes, student accommodation and older peoples’ housing can help relieve the pressure on overall housing supply, explains policy director Ian Fletcher (pictured right).

“Development across these sectors is restricted to 35,000 homes a year, when there is a need for at least 100,000,” he adds. “Pension funds and other sources of institutional capital are attracted to these sectors as they offer secure long-term income, but the next government must do more to give them the confidence to invest.”


Build to rent
Housing crisis