The Government has unveiled further details of a £2m competition prize for technology firms to develop tools that will help record rental payments on credit history.
The Rent Recognition Challenge, first mentioned in last month’s Budget, will open to entries in January, offering £100,000 each to six promising proposals and providing extra funding to bring three or four to the market.
Firms can enter until March 2018 and development will run until October 2018.
It comes after MPs held a Westminster debate in October on a public petition backed by almost 150,000 signatories calling for “paying rent on time to be recognised as evidence that mortgage repayments can be met”.
At the time the Government said it was up to the private sector to come up with solutions.
Announcing the competition yesterday, Stephen Barclay, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: “People’s monthly rent is often their biggest expense, so it makes sense for it to be recognised when applying for a mortgage.
“Without a good credit score, getting a mortgage can be a real struggle.
“Most lenders and credit reference agencies are unable to take rental data into account, because they don’t have access to it.
“The Rent Recognition Challenge will challenge firms to develop an innovative solution to this problem and help to restore the dream of home ownership for a new generation.”