The government has begun the second round of spending from its £1bn Build to Rent fund.

Speaking at the London Real Estate Forum this week, housing minister Brandon Lewis announced three deals to fund private rental sector schemes to deliver 1,353 homes across the city.

In total, £252m will be invested in 903 homes for rent at Stratford’s Olympic Village, E20, 273 at Newington Butts in Southwark, SE1, and 172 across sites in west London including Hammersmith, Westminster and West Kensington.

Lewis stressed the need not only for flexibility in the residential sector but also an increase in density in order to meet London’s housing shortage.

Speaking to EG after the announcement, Lewis said: “We have to take what opportunities there are. City Mills in Hackney had 450 homes in big, ugly concrete towers. We regenerated there and brought back street scenes, mid and low-rise accommodation and 750 homes.”

When asked about affordable homes, Lewis said: “Viability assessments are something the developers have to work out with the local authorities. It is up to them to make the best use of the land you’ve got.”