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A generation of renters could be left behind as the housing debate focuses too much on ownership according to the employers’ organisation, the CBI.

It says that by 2018 one in five households will live in private rented accommodation; within two years from now, £57 billion of investment in the PRS will be needed to meet that demand.

“While it’s right to support first-time buyers, we must make sure people who rent are not forgotten. The rental sector offers huge opportunities for growth and more large-scale institutional investment is needed. A VAT reduction on repair and renovation would help push investment decisions over the line” claims CBI chief policy director, Katja Hall.

The confederation says it wants to “turbo-charge” the Build to Rent Fund as one of a series of initiatives which include:

   - faster roll-out of the Private Rented Sector Guarantee Scheme
   - using the Build to Rent Fund to showcase how PRS investment produces good returns

   - councils considering how they will meet rising demand for private accommodation;
   - local authorities making better use of planning to boost PRS housing through S106 agreements;

   - business and government creating ‘build now, pay later’ schemes to accelerate land use;
   - changing regulations to “strike the right balance between protecting tenants and not overburdening landlords and deterring investors.”

The CBI believes the number of people living in the private rented sector will continue to grow due to three major drivers: population growth and more new households, imbalances between demand and supply inflating the price of housing, and the cost of living slowing the ability of people to save to buy.

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