To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the consequences of the general level of rent increases in the private, council and housing association sectors for the supply of rented property.
The deregulation of rents for new private tenancies will encourage landlords to invest: so far proposals for between 6,000 and 7,000 new assured tenancies have been reported under the business expansion scheme. Deregulation of rents for new housing association tenancies has enabled private finance to be used to supplement public expenditure, and so increase output of new subsidised rented housing; we estimate that some 13,000 additional units over three years will result. In the local authority sector our aim is to move towards a pattern of rents that better reflects the value of the accommodation provided and enables authorities to maintain their stock in good condition. Both housing association and local authority rents continue to benefit from substantial subsidies; and housing benefit is available to tenants who would otherwise have difficulty affording their rents.