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Housing Minister unveils one of the UK’s first Build to Rent housing schemes funded by institutional investment

  • Homes designed and built specifically for renters in North Acton
  • Supports Mayor’s vision for well-designed and managed rental homes


Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis will later today unveil a landmark housing private rented sector development in North Acton in West London. The £43.5 million scheme, which is being developed by mid-market specialist developers HUB, is owned and funded by M&G Real Estate, one of the UK’s largest property investors.

Named ‘The Rehearsal Rooms’ as a nod to the area’s historic ties to the BBC, the development will provide 152 one, two and three bedroom apartments for rent to be managed on site under a single corporate ownership. Occupiers will benefit from high quality accommodation and professional services standards in one of the first schemes designed specifically for rental purposes and funded by institutional investment.

Twenty of the apartments within the building will be available at discount market rent (DMR), a new form of affordable housing, priced between at 80% of market rent.

One of the UK’s first Build to Rent schemes, the development marks the emergence of a new type of housing designed to cater to Britain’s fast growing private rental market. Having been built for rent rather than sale, occupiers will benefit from professional service standards, an array of on-site amenities, such as community function rooms and roof top allotments to encourage a sense of community.

Experts believe that around £90 billion of funding could be ready to invest in Build to Rent over the next few years, which could deliver a sizeable quantum of the prime minister’s pledge to build 500,000 new homes by 2020.

Brandon Lewis, Housing and Planning Minister, says: “Increasing standards for private renters has been high on our priority list and by encouraging institutional investment, we can not only raise standards but deliver more housing that supports our communities.

“These homes are designed to take the hassle out of dealing with the landlord and the provision of discount market rent housing within the project offers an innovative solution to the need for subsidised affordable housing in an integrated fashion.”

Steve Sanham, development director at HUB, adds:

“Our ambition was to bring a totally new type of housing product to the market that is functional, sustainable and which adds value to a fantastic part of West London.

“We are certainly seeing a shift in how this generation approaches housing. Without the bookshelves and record cabinets of baby boomers, millennials have less possessions and a greater focus on a hassle-free life. This is what we’re trying to cater to here by building homes solely for rent that will be professionally managed by a single corporate landlord.

“The Mayor’s housing strategy clearly articulates the need to cater for middle-income Londoners – and we were adamant that this should not mean cutting back on design or the quality of the homes being developed for long-term rent.”

Alex Greaves, Head of Residential Investment at M&G Real Estate, concludes: “We’re thrilled to have our first Build to Rent project close to completion at a time where housing is at the top of the political agenda. The Rehearsal Rooms scheme is an example of what conscientious, design-led development can do for renters.”

“Renting is increasingly the tenure of choice for an upwardly mobile work force, which requires the flexibility of renting but, which also seeks high quality service. As a global real estate investor we are confident that Build to Rent offers long term growth potential with considerable diversification benefits for investors. There is huge potential to replicate The Rehearsal Rooms model of combining great purpose built rented housing and affordable subsidised units for key workers right across the UK.”