Our response to the Government’s rent consultation

We’ve submitted our response, on behalf of the sector, to the Government’s consultation on rents for social housing from 2020-21.

8 November 2018

The key points and recommendations covered in our submission are:

  • The Government proposes that registered providers can increase social and affordable rents by CPI +1% each year from 2020/21 for at least five years. The Federation welcomes this proposal, which provides the right balance between maintaining affordability for tenants, protecting the welfare budget, and providing financial certainty for investment in new and existing homes.
  • Housing associations have shown that they carefully consider affordability for tenants when setting rent levels, and across the sector use existing flexibilities in a balanced way. We suggest that to avoid ambiguity the wording around flexibility reverts to that used in the previous rent standard.
  • The definition of specialised supported housing differs from that used in the previous rent standard and risks unintentionally excluding schemes developed under the old definition. We suggest the wording used in the previous rent standard is maintained.
  • Introducing a convergence mechanism to allow social rents below formula rent to be gradually brought up to formula rent would further help housing associations deliver the balanced rent-setting policies that the Government and housing associations seek.

You can download the full submission, or contact Will Jeffwitz, who leads our work on rent setting, for further information.