Housing minister Mark Prisk has announced the first successful bidders who will benefit from the £1bn Build to Rent Fund, designed to provide 10,000 new homes in the private rented sector by 2015.
There are 45 projects in total, of which a quarter will be in London. A detailed breakdown of where the rest will be built will be released next month.
The first successful bidders will share a pot of £700m. A second round of bids for the remaining money in the fund will open later this year.
The Build to Rent fund, initially set at £200m, was increased to £1bn in the Budget, and offers what are effectively bridging loans to allow schemes to be built, repayable after the homes are rented out.
Prisk said: “We have seen overwhelming demand for the fund, and it’s become clear that there is a real appetite for rental investment. We want to support that, which is why we’ve made a £1bn budget boost to the fund.
“Now, these new projects will help us map this almost uncharted market, bringing in new blood to improve rental quality and choice, and building the new homes that this country wants and needs.”
The 45 projects will be built by a mixture of developers, regeneration specialists and housing associations. The developers include Bovis Homes, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey.
Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, said: “The bids show the depth and breadth of interest from investors to housing associations, house builders and construction companies. There are some big names, but also smaller innovative companies, and it all bodes well for round two.”