'Rental sector risks grinding to a halt'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities
To Let Signs
The Government must commit to a public review of social and affordable housing or risk the sector grinding to a halt, according the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and social landlord L&Q
The two organisations are calling for a formal government review of rent policy with a view to proposing a new framework and long-term settlement.
The current settlement, where rents increase by the Retail Price Index plus 0.5 percent every year, is due to come to an end in 2015.
Abi Davies, CIH assistant director of policy and practice, said: “If local authorities and housing associations are to have the confidence to plan investment in new development after 2015, then a new framework and settlement is crucial.”
The CIH and L&Q have put together a report - 'We need to talk about rents' - that outlines potential objectives and options for rent policy post-2015.
The options include maintaining the current dual-track system, allowing flexibility to providers to set individual rents within minimum and maximum thresholds, applying income-based rents and a redistributive rent system.
Mike Donaldson, group director of strategy and operations at L&Q, said: “We believe the three key criteria for any new system should be simplicity in applying the rules, affordability for tenants and viability for landlords.”
The CIH and L&Q are hoping the report will encourage debate, enabling the sector to make a strong case to government for a new long-term rent framework that responds to the right policy objectives and delivers positive outcomes for social landlords and their communities.
Abi Davies added: “It is not the purpose of this report to conclude on any options but to invite the government and the industry to think about the future of rents and rent-setting, with a view to agreeing a rent framework that delivers for all.”