Establishing an evidence base for the development of a viable intermediate rent model for Northern Ireland

The research found that there are considerable gaps between market and social rents in different parts of Northern Ireland, particularly in and around Belfast but also in one or two other areas. The research also found that there is evidence from elsewhere in the UK particularly Scotland that suggest that a financial model based on a combination of financial transactions capital and private finance can be made to cover the costs of provision at submarket rents and does not require grant funding. The modelling research found that there may be as much as 50,000 households paying more than 25% of their income on rent in the private rented sector and of them, 20,000 pay more than 40%.

Research went on to identify key principles that might underpin the shape of a potential new intermediate rent model. Such a model could deliver submarket rents on longer than standard private rental tenancies. The product would offer good value for money to the taxpayer, it would add another choice to the housing system in Northern Ireland that could alleviate specific needs or stress, and it would not subtract from the total level of grant funding available for social housing.

The research went on to undertake a serious sense checking expert interviews with experts across Northern Ireland as well as undertaking a broader consultation about how such a product would be viewed across the housing sector. The report identifies a number of important issues for the introduction of such an intermediate rent product and distinguishes the proposal contained in the report with the options that remain for government to think further about.

Authors: Ken Gibb, Joe Frey, Jenny Preece, Jordan Buchanan


Date: October 20, 2021 10:48 am

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