Funding to support Build to Rent housing extended
Scotland’s Build to Rent (BTR) sector is today being boosted by the announcement of an extension to funding for the Scottish Government-supported Private Rented Sector (PRS) Champion.
Gerry More has been tasked with driving forward initiatives which could see a rapid increase in the supply at scale of new purpose-built, professionally-managed, energy-efficient properties to rent across the country.
The funding will see Gerry’s work, supported by a Working Party of experts, continue for a further 12 months, focusing on how such schemes could be rapidly delivered with the backing of institutional investors, offering tenants improved customer experience and choice.
It will also support the launch of a dedicated Build to Rent in Scotland “opportunity” document in early 2017, outlining the potential benefits on offer to investors, local authorities, developers and other associated organisations.
Gerry More said: “With an increasing population, and the number of households forecast to continue rising, build to rent is a key component of increasing the supply of much needed homes of all tenures.
“The extension of this funding is therefore greatly welcomed in what is a further demonstration of backing from the Scottish Government, as previously reflected in its support of the extensive market engagement undertaken on a proposed Rental Income Guarantee scheme and improving the wider policy framework.
“The funding will enable me to progress my work across a number of key areas including engagement with stakeholders on potential planning reforms, continued work with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Scotland on valuation guidance as well as the launch of the opportunity document, which sets out in more detail the significant benefits that can be realised from the growth of this important sector of the Scottish housing market.
“There is a great deal of potential for investors in Scotland, with momentum continuing to build in the private rented sector. With the support of the Scottish Cities Alliance and the Scottish Government, I look forward to further exploring this opportunity with investors and local authorities over the coming year.”
Chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance, Councillor Andrew Burns, said: “We welcome this further funding from the Scottish Government towards our increasing Build to Rent sector. The Scottish Cities Alliance recognises that the liveability and attractiveness of our cities is key to building a high performance economy, and at the heart of that is the provision of quality homes of all tenures to make Scotland a better place in which to live, work and invest.
“Our ongoing collaborative work in the Private Rented Sector and Build to Rent housing with Homes for Scotland demonstrates the great benefits to be gained from partnership working to achieve this. We are committed to working together to achieve delivery of investible Build to Rent housing projects across our cities and regions.”
Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “Making sure that everyone in Scotland has a safe, warm and affordable home is a key priority for the Scottish Government. More and more households are calling the PRS sector home and new high-quality, well-managed housing built for private rent is an important element of our housing mix.
“This sector is in its infancy in Scotland and encouraging it to grow offers a range of benefits. It can drive up quality and choice for tenants, stimulate construction activity and create vibrant, well-designed neighbourhoods.
“We have been working closely with industry to help this emerging sector to thrive and as part of this we have previously funded a Build-to-Rent PRS Champion tasked with driving forward actions that will help deliver thousands of new PRS homes. I am delighted that, at the industry’s request, the Scottish Government is enabling this appointment to be extended by a further year.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Gerry, and everyone in the industry, to deliver on the clear potential of the Build to Rent sector in Scotland.”