The appointment of a Rented Sector Champion and the need for stability in the policy, taxation and regulatory environments are two of the key recommendations from a major industry-led research project looking at how new sources of housing investment can be attracted to Scotland to help expand the country’s growing rented sector.
The recommendations are the result of a wider research study undertaken by experts in housing finance from LSE London and the Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research. The study findings, announced in front of over 160 delegates from the development and financial services sectors at a special conference in Edinburgh, identify significant potential to increase the supply of high quality rented homes in Scotland by attracting institutional investment into the sector. The 20 recommendations contained in the report are directly designed to support that potential to be realised.
The project was led by home building industry body Homes for Scotland. Chief Executive Philip Hogg said: “With official figures estimating that Scotland requires 465,000 new homes by 2035 in order to meet housing need, but current build rates pointing to a shortfall of around 160,000 on this figure, Scotland is a country with urgent yet diverse housing needs.
“Whilst housing production has fallen to its lowest level in 70 years, the rented sector has grown significantly over recent years and clearly has a major role to play in achieving a balanced tenure mix. It also offers new and significant opportunities for investment and development together with the wider social, environmental and economic benefits the construction of new homes brings.
“However, in order to build more new homes for rent, we first need to determine how new sources of funding can be attracted into this market and understand and resolve any barriers which may prevent this.
“This is the focus of the research we have been leading over the last nine months with the support of both the Scottish Government and Construction Scotland. Whilst we are delighted to have the recommendations announced today, this is just the first step in the process. We now need to work closely with the Scottish Government and other stakeholders to put the necessary conditions and structures in place to enable the recommendations to become fully effective.”
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who delivered the keynote address at the event, said: “The findings of this industry-led project will boost confidence further, showing that the time has never been riper for new ways of investing in Scotland’s house building sector.
“There is significant potential to unlock new forms of finance, boost the supply of much needed homes and deliver wider social and economic benefits for Scotland.
“I am delighted that Scottish Government was able to support this work and I look forward to considering the findings and recommendations in detail.”
Media enquiries to: Jennifer Kennedy/Lauren Trouten Homes for Scotland – 0131 455 8350 / 07763 240694
09 December 2013