The biggest development of homes built specifically for private rent in the UK is set to receive a £65 million boost from the government.

The deal will help to unlock over 7,600 new, high quality homes at the Wembley Park development in Brent, London – one of the largest strategic regeneration projects in the country. At least 6,800 of these homes will be for rent.

The measures include:

  • changing planning rules so councils proactively plan for more Build to Rent homes where there is need
  • making it easier for Build to Rent developers to offer affordable private rent in place of other types of affordable home
  • introducing longer tenancies which are more family friendly to provide better security for renters – government action in this area has already seen the offer of 3 year or longer tenancies being made available to 35,000 tenants across the country according to British Property Federation estimates.
  • Build to Rent homes are built at scale for the primary purpose of being rented long-term, they can boost choice and quality in the private rented sector.

Across England the sector is expanding, with 80,855 homes either completed or planned. The industry estimates investment in the private rented sector could grow to £70 billion by 2022. This could provide a further 15,000 homes each year – with the potential to reach at least 240,000 homes built specifically for private rent – by 2030.

Housing and Planning Minister Alok Sharma said “Whether renting or owning all families should have the security they need to be able to plan for the future.

“That’s why as part of our plan to fix the broken housing market we’ve been taking action to create a bigger and better private rental market, supporting new Build to Rent developments so that tenants can have greater choice.

“Developments like Wembley Park are a great example of doing just that, boosting the choice and quality of homes on the market – meeting the needs of renters in cities and towns across England.”

The Wembley Park development is backed by a loan from the government’s £3 billion Home Building Fund. It will bring over 8,000 jobs to the area and support infrastructure to free up land for development.

Delivered in phases over the next 7 years, the flats will include a mix of studios, 1, 2 or 3-bedroom properties, all located closely to the underground station. The site next to the National Stadium will also include up to 2,350 affordable homes.

Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Chief Executive Nick Walkely said “This autumn, the HCA will relaunch as Homes England with the ambition of creating a better housing market. We’re determined to get more homes built now and increase the rate of future development.

“This development is a fantastic example of how we fund vital infrastructure to speed up the construction of much-needed quality homes for people to rent.”

Quintain Chief Executive, Angus Dodd said “This £65 million government loan will be match funded by Quintain to provide a £130 million infrastructure investment into Wembley Park to deliver new car and coach parking, an energy centre and the first phase of the new 7 acre public park. Not only will this funding allow these critical elements to be brought forward, it will also support the more rapid delivery of new homes.

“We are delighted to welcome the Housing Minister to Wembley Park today. The area is already home to a thriving community and will become the largest build to rent development anywhere in the UK.”

Work on the new homes at Wembley Park has already begun and is set to be completed in 2026.

With funding and planning secured, construction at Wembley Park will be at a pace not seen at any other major development site, with 5,000 homes under construction over the next 7 years.

Wembley Park will be the largest single-site purpose built PRS (private rental sector) development anywhere in the UK after Quintain announced its intention to deliver the remaining private homes at Wembley Park as build to rent. 5,000 homes for rent will be available at Wembley Park, all under Quintain’s ownership, and will be delivered in phases over the next seven years.

By the end of 2017, there will be 3,000 homes under construction, alongside a new seven acre public park, a new landscaped London square, a three-form entry primary school and a wide range of shops, restaurants and workspaces to complement the existing Wembley Park shopping and entertainment offering. Quintain’s next Tipi apartment building will be available for occupation this summer.

Quintain has already invested £900 million in the transformation of Wembley Park and has a further £800 million of funding secured, with planning permission in place. It is expected that on completion, Wembley Park will have created over 8,500 permanent new jobs across a range of sectors, in addition to the jobs created during construction.

Angus Dodd, Chief Executive of Quintain, said “Our commitment to build to rent at Wembley Park means we can deliver the homes London needs far faster than if we were selling homes privately and ensures they will be occupied very shortly after they are complete.

“This long term commitment also means we can design homes specifically for the needs of today’s generation of renters and provide fantastic shared facilities and professional management arrangements which our residents love. We will ensure no apartment is left empty.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, added “This development will provide 5,000 much-needed private rented homes for Londoners. It will take time to fix the housing crisis, but at City Hall we are committed to help deliver schemes like this that will increase the supply of homes across the capital.”

Build-to-rent can help fix ‘broken housing industry’

A new report, produced by the British Property Federation (BPF) and Savills in conjunction with the London School of Economics, proposes that the purpose-built rental sector could deliver as many as 240,000 new homes by 2030.

If, for example, just one fifth of the large residential sites currently being built on incorporated build-to-rent, it could increase annual home delivery by 6%. Put into context, this is around 10,000 new homes a year relative to the 164,000 new homes completed in England in 2015/16.

In conjunction with the supply already set for delivery over the next three years, it would take total build-to-rent output to 15,000 new units a year, and to 240,000 over the next 13 years.

Ian Fletcher, Director of Policy at BPF, explained “By measuring build-to-rent’s growth and the other benefits it delivers, and what gets in its way, we want to show to government the sector can be an important partner to its ambitions to build more homes.”