BTR industry’s reactions to new Prime Minister

The Build to Rent industry’s reactions to the announcement of Liz Truss as the new Prime Minister.

Liz Truss, announced Prime Minister of the UK on 5 September 2022. The Build to Rent industry shares its reactions to the news | BTR News
Liz Truss, announced Prime Minister of the UK on 5 September 2022. The Build to Rent industry shares its reactions to the news. Image credit: Chris McAndrew, CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The announcement of Liz Truss as the new Prime Minister was announced yesterday (5 September 2022). We’ve collated the Build to Rent industry’s reactions and comments to the announcement.

Anne-Marie Brown, Founder, Love to Rent

“We have been calling on the government for the last few years to address the problems that are plaguing the private rental market and causing difficulties for thousands of people. When this is compounded by the cost of living crisis, the future is uncertain for many. We believe a dedicated minister is needed to forward plan and pave the way for a more secure future for the thousands of people living in rental property.

“We believe that a Minister for Renting is needed to further discuss the role that Build to Rent can play and how it can benefit all renters to provide them with stability for the future. Liz Truss has a responsibility to the thousands of people that choose to rent to ensure that they are having their needs met today and over the coming years.”

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation

“We urgently need strong Government leadership after a period of drift. The new Prime Minister must address the immediate cost pressures facing businesses and families, but in parallel there must a clear focus on the longer-term objectives to tackle inequalities across the UK and transition to a greener, high-productivity economy. We look forward to working with Ms Truss to harness the power and potential of the property sector to deliver the homes, work and leisure spaces that will revitalise our town and city centres and underpin our future prosperity as a nation.”

Ryan Prince, Founder and CEO, UNCLE

“Housing is a top three issue that can only be addressed by the Prime Minister and yet you could fill a football pitch with the number of housing ministers we’ve had the past couple of years. 

“Imagine if we changed defence ministers every six months. We will never solve our housing issues until we have a coherent strategy with competent and consistent leadership for a two to three year period. Until then, the situation is doomed to failure.”

James Blakey, Planning Director, Moda Living

“Now that the new Prime Minister has been announced after weeks of uncertainty, we hope to see Liz Truss work with the UK residential sector to address the appalling lack of suitable homes in the UK, across the spectrum of tenures, requirements and price points. 

“The spotlight on the shortage of rental homes in particular is evidence that the government has been too preoccupied with home ownership and must more enthusiastically embrace professionally managed, institutionally funded rental living products such as Build to Rent or single family housing. With more support on planning, land and delivery, it can relieve the existing pressure on the UK rental market.

“In the short term, the UK is facing a severe cost of living crisis and it is crucial that the new prime minister works quickly and effectively to mitigate the effects of this both for residents across the country and for businesses. Moda Living is working with energy providers to provide residents with a 20% saving on the Ofgem energy price caps. We would welcome the Prime Minister and her cabinet to engage with us and the wider industry on what can be done to support people across the country during this difficult time.”

Caroline Gumble, CEO, Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

“We want to see the new Prime Minister continue the Government’s existing agendas on levelling up and net zero, both of which can make a positive difference to what we’re sure will be their number one priority, the cost of living crisis. The levelling up agenda provides significant opportunities for the construction sector, through local job creation and stability, while property retrofit schemes to improve energy efficiency for example, will further boost the sector and go some way to helping residents mitigate rising energy costs.  

“In tandem, we would like to see the Prime Minister appoint a cabinet that will work meaningfully with the construction industry and professional bodies to understand and alleviate pressures on the built environment sector. The appointment of a housing minister and construction minister for the long term will go a long way in helping improve the consistency and collaboration that the industry desperately needs and strengthen the excellent collaboration that has been achieved through the Construction Leadership Council.” 

Alison Newton, Partner and Co-head of Real Estate Sector, Addleshaw Goddard

“As a priority, I’d like to see the new prime minister focus on the delivery of energy efficient, safe and affordable rental properties. 

“Alongside addressing the affordability of energy, we need to build homes which use less of it in the first place. There is a range of red tape getting in the way of that at the moment, in particular where fire safety of new buildings is concerned. Where we are at present is a chaotic mix of regulation and sign-off procedures, which don’t yet represent practical and workable solutions.”

Lucy Sturrock, Partner, Addleshaw Goddard

“The new prime minster has already committed to cutting taxes, simplifying the planning system and building on brownfield sites as part of her campaign. There will be a lot of competing pressures and her priority will most likely be on addressing the immediate cost pressures facing businesses and families as a result of inflation and rising energy and wage prices. 

“The property industry is hoping that the PM will take a long term view on the economy and invest in the sector, particularly with helping to deliver good quality rental properties. We support the BPF and Melanie Leech’s call for ‘urgent need for strong government leadership after a period of drift’.