Rent Consultation Launched

19th January 2023

The Board of the Association met recently and considered a range of options in relation to next year’s budget and rent charges. It did so in the knowledge of the current financial situation facing many of our tenants and mindful of the financial needs of the business in terms of service delivery, and the current economic uncertainty.Last year the Association increased rents by 2.7% and had a rent freeze the year before.

Ahead of this upcoming budget year (April 2023 to March 2024) we note an October inflation figure ( Consumer Price Increase , CPI ) of 11 % falling to 9.3% in November, increasing prices for materials used across all trades impacting on our repairs budget and significantly higher interest rates meaning we have to pay more on interest payments for previous loans to finance new build properties. In addition the negotiated staff wage increase between Employers in Voluntary Housing which we are members of and Unite the Union was 5.25%.

Committed spend in the forthcoming budget year includes :·

Component replacement (gas boilers, roofs, fabric works) £ 1.7 million

Reactive repairs £615k

Relet repairs £380k

Cyclical maintenance £1.5 million

Given the very high CPI figure and the current economic uncertainty rather than follow the usual route of considering CPI, CPI plus 0.5%, and CPI plus 1 % this year the Board opted to recommend what they see as the lowest possible rent increase to allow the business to deliver its component replacement and repairs programme (with some of the window and boiler replacements being delayed), being 2.5 %, and will take into account your views ahead of the final decision on 8th February. We believe this will be one of the lowest rent increases in the country.

Please complete this online survey to share your views. You can access the survey here. All returns will be entered in a prize draw for £100 worth of vouchers for a local store.

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