Thursday, 23 February 2017

Ten associations awarded a share of £700m government pot to build private rented homes

Landlords take private rent plunge

New government funding for private rented homes has prompted a host of housing associations to rapidly expand their market rent portfolios.

Fifteen housing associations have now stepped up to answer the coalition’s call for large-scale private rented development, with a host of others mulling plans.

This week, 10 associations, including four members of the G15 group of large London landlords, were among the developers to share in a £700 million government pot designed to accelerate the delivery of private rented sector housing.

It has also emerged that Guinness Partnership and Catalyst Housing each intend to build 1,000 PRS homes over the next three and five years respectively, using their own funds rather than government cash.

The government’s build to rent fund, which will grow to £1 billion following a second bidding round later this year, will deliver as many as 10,000 new homes.

Notting Hill Housing Trust, which expects to receive £33.1 million from the fund, has plans to quadruple its 500-home PRS portfolio within five years. The 25,000-home landlord will build an additional 2,000 homes over five years, including 423 financed by the government.

John Hughes, development director at Notting Hill, said: ‘It’s a good area to invest in, both in terms of servicing a client group and as a commercial investment.’

Network Housing Group, which would not disclose how much build to rent funding it expects to receive, aims to build its PRS portfolio to 500 homes over the coming years.

David Levenson, finance director at Network, said: ‘It’s the mixed approach that can help solve London’s housing problem.’

In the north of England, Together Housing Group expects to receive £17 million through its joint bid with developer Placefirst. The joint venture will build 600 homes for private rent.

Tom Miskell, chief executive of THG which manages around 1,000 leasehold properties, said: ‘There’s obviously a limit on what you can provide in terms of subsidised housing, and this is helping to meet housing need one way or another.’

The shift follows the leads of London & Quadrant, Thames Valley Housing and Places for People which revealed plans to expand into the sector last year using their own balance sheet and, the case of TVH, institutional investment.

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