The Government is being urged to invest in the construction of more social rented homes, and to introduce minimum standards for the private rented sector.
In its budget submission, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) said that more needs to be done to improve the quality of private rented homes across the board, including new minimum standards that cover property conditions and housing management.
Along with the standards, the CIH has called for regulation of lettings agents, and tax incentives for landlords who sign up to an accreditation scheme. Moreover, new measures should be implemented to allow local authorities to enforce standards.
“The private rented sector has grown considerably since the 1990s and is now the second largest tenure after home ownership,” said Gavin Smart, the CIH’s deputy chief executive. “Though many landlords provide good quality housing, standards are highly inconsistent and at the lower end of the market they can be very poor.
“We think more can be done to improve standards for the millions of tenants in private rented accommodation, including the introduction of a set of minimum standards and other measures which incentivise providing good quality accommodation.
“We expect that the large number of landlords who are already providing good quality homes and services will already be operating at a level at or above the minimum standards we envisage.”
CIH’s budget submission also asks for more funding to secure the development of new homes for “affordable” and social rent. That follows its projections last week that 250,000 homes for social rent will have been lost between 2012 and 2020.
The organisation is also calling for the Government to reverse its decision to lower the benefit cap, which its research revealed will hit 116,000 families across the UK.
In its submission the CIH also calls for:
- New support for local authorities to become major house builders – including exemption from the rent reduction in exchange for a commitment to build homes
- The development of a new funding model for supported housing – including a long-term commitment on top-up funding to give certainty to providers
- More loan funding for regeneration – increasing the current £140 million by £300 million