"Millions of pounds"from private investors have been pledged towards the construction of new homes for private rental in the south-east of England.

The Times reported that Aviva Investors has lent its support to the planned project, which would see the construction of purpose-built rental developments for those who cannot afford to purchase their own homes.

Large-scale private rented accommodation is popular in parts of Europe and America, but has not been seen on the planned levels since the 1950s in the UK.

The move marks the first time since World War II that large institutional funds have been interested in a long-term investment in the private rental sector.

A spokesman from the Homes &Communities Agency (HCA) told the newspaper that while Aviva is the first investor of its kind to go public with such plans, more are likely to follow suit in the "coming months".

The HCA announced this week that a fund of up to £84 million will be shared around 46 UK regions to provide insulation in social homes and help cut fuel bills for vulnerable residents.

Written by John WeeksADNFCR-2002-ID-19285729-ADNFCR

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