Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive of The Homes and Communities Agency, today gave his support for an institutionally backed private rented residential sector.

Kerslake told delegates at the British Property Federation’s annual residential conference in London that he was in talks with institutions about how the fledgling agency could help them invest in the sector.

He said: ‘I am persuaded by the need for a relevant private rented sector, both in terms of the size, and quality (of accommodation) on offer. It should become more than a second choice offer for people who can’t access social housing.’

Kerslake added: ‘We can and should as an agency play a part in developing the private rented sector.’

Kerslake’s pledge represents a major breakthrough for the BPF which has been lobbying government for several years to create a financial environment for a more professionally managed rented sector to help solve the housing crisis.