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New Build to Rent deal agreed

A new deal has been signed today (March 28th) to deliver newly-built homes specifically for the private rental sector.Housing minister Kris Hopkins welcomed the deal, which has been delivered through the government's Build to Rent programme. It will lead to the construction of 110 houses and 80 apartments across six different sites.Homes are to be built at Wickhurst Green, Horsham; Charlton Hayes, Filton, Bristol; Coopers Edge, Brockworth and a number of other locations up and down the country.The Mill Group will receive £8.7 million to work alongside Bovis Homes to deliver the properties.Commenting on the news, Mr Hopkins said: "Millions of people use the flexible option of renting in the private sector. I want to ensure tenants have a choice of high-quality homes, rented under reasonable terms.""So I'm pleased that this deal is complete to build 190 homes across six sites specifically for private rent."Build to Rent was established to help developers build large-scale, quality homes for the private rental sector, with government support paving the way for private investment.Construction has already begun on two of the round one projects, in Manchester and Southampton, while 17 more are in either the final stage of due diligence or the contracting stage.A further 36 projects have been shortlisted, which could deliver up to 6,500 homes. The government claims these figures show it is on track to have work in progress by 2015 for 10,000 newly-built private rental homes. The Build to Rent initiative could be facing problems, however. The Independent reports that dozens of developers have pulled out of Build to Rent as a result of rising demand for homes built under the Help to Buy scheme.Chief executive of Keepmoat David Sheridan said Help to Buy had diverted interest away from Build to Rent as "more liquidity entered the market" and that the fund had not been "the right investment model". 

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