The Montague Report, which called for mass build-to-rent schemes backed by institutional investors, is a ground-breaker, according to housing minister Grant Shapps.
He called it a blueprint for the future – for house building, planning and the reform of the private rented sector (PRS), which he said had always been a Cinderella of the housing industry.
But, with over three million people relying on the PRS for their homes, he said this was clearly no longer the case. Fresh blood is needed to boost the private lettings industry.
All well and good.
But the only way to make build-for-rent work financially is to drop the costly requirements on builders to provide 40% of affordable housing. Not surprisingly, housing associations are up in arms.
Jon Neale, of property consultancy Jones Lang LeSalle, says this is a bit of a nonsense. Most people, in this mortgage-starved age, will never qualify for social housing and their only option will be to rent privately.
However, whether the Montague Report will ever translate to action, he rather wonders. He notices that the wording is polite rather than insistent.
Read his outstanding analysis of the issues in today’s blog.