Lunchtime news June 5

Gordon Brown will back a major new programme of rented housing and hint that councils should be allowed to build homes again in a speech today to the annual conference of the general union GMB, reports The Guardian.

English Partnerships has invited expressions of interest in what will be England’s first large-scale zero carbon development. Developers will have to achieve the highest rating in the code for sustainable homes in a 150-home scheme on a former hospital site in Bristol.

A Times analysis of the housing market asks whether there will be a crash and says buy-to-let investors could hold the key.