BPF welcomes rental focus in Labour housing manifesto
Published:  27 April, 2010

LONDON: The British Property Federation (BPF) has welcomed Labour’s new housing manifesto, saying it offers a realistic and broad array of measures which could help nurture the UK’s private rented sector.

The manifesto says the government “would like to see more larger and professional organisations providing rented accommodation, alongside the many individual landlords” adding that it especially wants to “encourage more investment in new build rented accommodation”.

The BPF, which represents small landlords groups around the country as well as major developers such as Land Securities, Tesco, Legal & General and Grainger has been campaigning for a US-style professional rented sector where institutions forward-fund new rental developments.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, said: “However much we would all like to be a nation of homeowners, the simple reality is that this will not happen, not now or at any time soon. Affordability is driven by how well people can access finance and no matter what political rhetoric we’re fed about stamp duty cuts or shared equity schemes, ultimately, there are millions who cannot get on the housing ladder.

“What this is leading to is a massive increase in the demand for rented housing and that’s why Labour’s manifesto is so welcome. It presents an informed and realistic overview of the market that takes into account the fact that there are a million more renters than a decade ago. It’s clear that public investment in housing will be cut in years to come and that’s why it’s more important than ever that ministers reform stamp duty for large investors to ensure schemes are viable. Without private investment, we will not provide the housing we desperately need and it is essential we act now to avoid a double-dip housing crisis.”

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