We are no longer in the 1980s and need to attract rental investors – Suffolk MP says
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Footloose workers who do not want to buy a home must be catered for in the housing market with policies to attract big-money investors, a Suffolk MP has said.
Billions of pounds of UK pension funds and institutional investment could go to places such as Manhattan, Tokyo and Sydney rather than to open up brownfield sites in big cities – and even Lake Lothing in Lowestoft – if the government does not get its rental market policies right, Waveney MP Peter Aldous has said.
He was speaking ahead of the Housing Bill, which returns to parliament today and includes measures to help people build their own homes, buy their housing association homes and ensure discounts for first time buyers.
Mr Aldous said: 'This money [pension and institution funds] can play a significant role in providing housing for people who are more footloose in where they live and work than they used to be.
'It can also play a significant role in bringing brownfield sites forward, and in regenerating many of our urban areas.
'I just want to highlight this opportunity to the government and to make sure we have the right policy framework to really ensure this investment, which should ideally come here, comes to Britain – whether in London, Manchester, Birmingham, the Waterfront in Ipswich, Norwich Riverside or Lake Lothing, rather than go to Manhattan, Sydney or Tokyo,' he admitted.
'That is what we need to look into in the coming months.'
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He said that institutions were raising concerns that the current government policies for the rented sector were not the right ones.
The chancellor's summer budget was criticised by the real estate sector for favouring homeowners over buy-to-let landlords after the chancellor slashed the tax relief that private landlords receive on their mortgage interest payments, cutting it from 40pc or 45pc to 20pc by April 2020.
Housing associations will also be forced to sell their homes to tenants under an extension of the Government's Right to Buy policy for council homes.
Mr Aldous said that it was right for the government to have policies for people who want to buy their homes, but added: 'We do need to recognise that I think we are in a different place to what we were in the 1980s, we are a far more mobile and footloose society.
'That means people will only be coming to live in an area maybe for a few years and they won't be looking to put that root down straight away and we need to be providing that housing for them.'
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