Update on the future of housing association rents

Read more about our work with housing associations to develop a new approach to rents.

11 May 2017

As you may know, the Federation is currently working with a group of members to consider the future of housing association rents post-2020. Following our member consultation on this issue, the group was established, to consider a new model of rent setting based around three key principles:

1. Housing associations will be able to plan and invest with confidence due to greater certainty and control over their core income

2. Housing association rents will be affordable for those in housing need and responsive to local markets

3. Rent setting will be transparent and accountable at a national, regional and local level.

At the group’s latest meeting on 24 April, members talked about the All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Planning’s recent evidence session on rents. At that session, parliamentarians wanted to understand what could be done to ensure that a new approach to rents continues to support housing associations' ambitions to deliver new homes, whilst remaining fair and affordable for tenants, and making best use of public funds.

The group then discussed building the research base for a new rent model that supports every part of the sector to deliver on its social purpose, and what is needed to build a case with the Government for an agreement based around certainty and control for boards.

The announcement of the General Election on 8 June has placed our conversations with the Government about this issue briefly on hold. During this pause, the Federation is considering what impact the election could have on the timings of this project, and we are working on developing a dedicated area of our website for information about our work on the future of housing association rents.

In the meantime, you can read a blog from Alan Smith at County Durham Housing Group on how a new approach to rents could deliver for more challenging markets.

Please contact the Federation’s policy lead for this issue, Nick Yandle, with any questions.