New government figures reveal that there are 80,855 Built To Rent homes either completed or planned.
It says investment in this element of private rented sector could grow to £70 billion and could help create 15,000 homes specifically to rent each year by 2022. It also has the potential to reach a total of at least 240,000 homes built for private rent by 2030.
The figures were revealed during the announcement of a £65m boost from the government to - in the words of the government statement - “help unlock” over 7,600 new homes at Wembley in Brent, north London, with at least 6,800 of them for rent.
The Build To Rent sector has also won the backing of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the British Property Federation.
A joint statement says proposals under consideration with government include changing planning rules so councils have to initiate more forward planning of rental need and locations for developments, as well as tenancies of three years or more - considered more family-friendly than the traditional six months tenancy commonly found in buy to let.
The BPF says 35,000 tenants have been offered tenancies of three years or longer in recent years, since more emphasis was put on longer tenancies and since the first Build To Rent schemes have completed.
“We fully support the introduction of affordable private rent, and the inclusion of build to rent and affordable private rent within the National Planning and Policy Framework and Planning Practice Guidance - a multi-tenure approach where all housing sectors receive the right policy support is critical to fixing the UK’s broken housing market” says BPF chief executive Melanie Leech.
Meanwhile RICS head of UK external affairs Geoff White says: “The government’s proposals to boost supply across all tenures is a welcome acknowledgement of the extent of the housing challenges and the scale of the response required.”
Housing and planning minister Alok Sharma says: “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.”