26 April 2022
The NHF has jointly published a new report with Placeshapers and whg on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on rent arrears approaches at social landlords.
The report ‘Going freestyle: what happens when the rulebook is taken away’ reveals that many social landlords ended the pandemic with lower rent arrears than at the beginning after overnight cultural and legal changes transformed how they worked with tenants.
Twenty organisations, including Teign Housing, Gloucester City Homes, Stockport Homes and Saxon Weald, explain how lockdown changed how they manage rent arrears, and how they have embedded these changes since. We want to thank all our members who contributed their expertise and insight to this report.
Faced with the prospect of lockdown, skyrocketing arrears and real and acute hardship for tenants across the country, housing associations took new approaches to working. These new ways of working allowed the opportunity for greater insight and empathy, and often required staff to put aside established processes and build relationships on a foundation of trust. By the end of the pandemic, two thirds of housing associations reported a fall in arrears.
The report takes the learning from the pandemic and summarises seven lessons for the future for social landlords: