PRS 'will be free' of affordable homes requirement
The head of a review of the private rented sector has said he expects his key recommendation that PRS homes should be freed from affordable housing planning requirements to be implemented.
Speaking at a conference organised by property data firm IPD today, Sir Adrian Montague said the government’s initial response to his review had been ‘hijacked’ by the need to address the faltering economy, but he believes more is to come.
‘The central proposal has not yet been acted on by government, and that is what government has to do,’ he said. ‘I think it is happening, new announcements are planned, but it is all a confidence game this, and the government has got to take the lead in making people more confident.’
The key recommendation in Sir Adrian’s report was that section 106 requirements that demand affordable homes are built alongside private developments should be waived if developers agree to allow the homes to be let privately for a set period of time. This is designed to encourage institutional investors into the PRS market.
The government announced a package of measures to stimulate the housing market is September, around two weeks after the publication of the report. These included £10 billion of loan guarantees, a £200 million fund to support PRS homes, and moves to allow the renegotiation of section 106 deals.
Sir Adrian said his proposals had been discussed with the government before the report was published and were acted on ‘almost instantly’, but more is needed.
‘The government has got to be clear and consistent,’ he said. ‘I think there is more to come, and it will contribute to a better environment. I hope it will be delivered before long.’
Last week Sir Bob Kerslake, the permanent secretary at the Communities and Local Government department, told attendees at an Inside Housing reception to expect fresh announcements on housing before the end of the year.