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If the government is to successfully implement the Barker report's recommendations for new forms of investment, thr...
If the government is to successfully implement the Barker report's recommendations for new forms of investment, through Real Estate Investment Trusts or Property Investment Funds, then they must learn from previous failed initiatives warns a new book published by the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Peter Kemp, one of the country's leading experts on private rented housing, shows in the book how previous efforts to boost the sector - through the Business Expansion Scheme and Housing Investment Trusts - have not succeeded. In contrast, an initiative which had nothing to do with the government - buy to let - has revived the sector and has begun successfully to change its image in the minds of potential renters.

Private renting in transition looks in detail at the changes in the private rented sector, its decline after the Second World War and its rapid growth during the 1990s. The report shows how in the last decade over a quarter of a million homes were added to the private rented sector. This was due to people choosing to let their homes rather than sell them, relaxed attitudes by lenders and the growth of specialist mortgage products.

CIH policy adviser John Perry said:

'Nothing will improve conditions in the private rented sector - which still has some of the country's worst housing - unless the government understands what changes work and also puts resources into helping the poorest landlords.

'This book is an up to date assessment of private renting just at the point when it is starting to become a tenure of choice. The challenge for the government is to make sure this trend continues and is strengthened.'

* Private Renting in Transition by Peter Kemp is published by CIH at£20. Details from 024 7685 1752 (email:

Further information on the book can be viewed at:

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