Seven MPs gathered for an early meeting at Westminster at the start of July to hear about the growth of affordable rent-to-buy housing. A longstanding champion of rent-to-buy, Gary Streeter MP kindly hosted a breakfast briefing for us at Portcullis House on 6th July.
The purpose was to explain our innovative rent-to-buy model to other Members of Parliament, encourage them to promote Rentplus to their local authorities and in their constituencies. We also discussed how they can support Rentplus by seeking formal recognition of rent-to-buy as an affordable housing tenure in the revised National Planning Policy Framework and its inclusion in the Starter Home definition in the new Housing and Planning Act.
During the briefing, MPs heard how £70 million of private investment has been raised to-date to deliver Rentplus’ business plan target of 5,000 homes by 2020, how Rentplus is engaging with 50+ local authorities to deliver much-needed affordable homes in their areas, and how Rentplus welcomes the backing of government to deliver 10,000 rent-to-buy homes in their affordable housing programme. We were able to demonstrate how Rentplus could be part of the solution to the housing crisis, bridging the gap between demand, supply and affordability of housing in communities and explain that the scheme is really taking off. The MPs that joined us engaged in lively debate, identifying the problems preventing their constituents from achieving their first step on the housing ladder – so our innovative model really appealed to them. We hope the MPs will also keep Rentplus in mind when discussing issues facing the delivery of the government’s ambitious housing targets, the potential impact of Brexit on the construction industry and future housing legislation.
We were delighted with the level of engagement of the MPs who attended, and that several MPs have already scheduled further follow up meetings in their constituencies to discuss practical housing matters in their areas and how Rentplus can assist in supporting delivery.
The breakfast briefing was a huge success and we plan to run similar events in the autumn to engage more MPs in this important debate.
Richard Connolly, CEO of Rentplus