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Build to Rent scheme to offer tenants greater choice

Developers have been invited to bid for a share of £400m to build homes for private rent, housing minister Mark Prisk has announced. Part of the Government’s £1bn Build to Rent fund, the move aims to encourage investment in this sector to increase the number of quality homes available.

Prisk said the housing market was “turning a corner” and that the fund would help built a better private rented sector with more choice for tenants.

“This funding, combined with up to £10bn in our housing guarantees schemes, will help build on successes like Centenary Quay in Southampton to offer greater choice and quality for tenants across the country.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “By releasing land and working with institutional investors we are working hard to accelerate delivery in the purpose built private rented sector.”

Chairman of the Private Rented Sector taskforce, Andrew Stanford, called the funding “a significant boost” to kick-start the new private rented sector and chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, Andy Rose, added: “The private rented sector has a key role to play in increasing the supply of new homes. There was strong appetite the first time round and we are looking forward to seeing an even higher level of interest and quality of proposition this time.”

In a separate announcement, communities’ minister Don Foster announced a £400,000 fund to create more tenant organisations. Training sessions on how to set up these groups could help to hold landlords to account, challenge poor services and increase influence over local communities.

Tenant organisations can take over responsibility for the management of housing services, such as repairs, maintenance and security.

Foster said: “Local people are best placed to know their housing needs and I want to give social tenants a stronger voice. Tenant organisations help people ensure their landlords provide the right service to a high standard. I want social tenants to make much greater use of the available rights and powers to decide for themselves how to run their communities and ensure they get the best possible service.”

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