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Mayor of London outlines plans to boost private rental sector

Mayor of London Boris Johnson will use land owned by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and seek institutional investors in a drive to boost the construction of homes for long-term private rent. 

Johnson announced plans for developments at two GLA-owned sites in Newham, Pontoon Dock and Silvertown Way, to comprise around 700 homes, of which around a third will be made available for private rent. City Hall is seeking a development partner for the schemes through the Mayor's London Development Panel, he said.

The Mayor said that by targeting institutional investment in the private rented sectors, from investors including pension funds and insurance companies, he aims to encourage longer term leases and more stability for tenants.

"With London's unprecedented population growth, housing supply and affordability is now our biggest challenge and we need to double the number of homes being built," Johnson said. "This requires a radical rethink and it is time for a new approach which not only helps build more homes but also improves choice and quality for Londoners."

"Capitalising on London’s undeveloped public land I want to entice more institutional investors to come forward and invest in quality homes for Londoners, boosting the economy and creating thousands of new jobs,” Johnson said.

British Property Federation chief executive Liz Peace welcomed the plans. “High-quality, purpose-built homes for rent are making an increasing contribution to London’s housing supply, with 8% of new homes in the capital last year provided by institutions investing in private rented accommodation," she said in a statement.

"Build-to-rent won’t happen without private long-term investment partners, however, and we very much appreciate the energy the Mayor is putting in to attract institutions to invest in the capital’s housing and meet the needs of London’s young families and workers,” she added.

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