To determine the best way to support households with rising living costs, the government launched a consultation yesterday (Wednesday 31st August) where tenants and landlords are being asked for their opinions on a proposed social housing rent cap, which could save vulnerable households an average of £300 per year and provide financial stability to four million households.
Each year, the government regulates how much social housing rents can increase. Currently, this is set at up to the consumer price index (CPI) rate plus 1% – which would result in an 11% increase next year in line with recent Bank of England forecasts.
The planned cap would therefore prevent rents for council and housing association houses from rising significantly. There are several options being considered for the coming financial year, including 3%, 5%, and 7%.
Housing Secretary, Greg Clark said:
“We know many people are worried about the months ahead. We want to hear from landlords and social tenants on how we can make this work and support the people that need it most.
“The rent cap would be temporary and would apply from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024. The consultation also seeks views on whether to set a limit for 2024-25. The government understands this will impact social housing landlords and is engaging fully with the sector.”
Rob Clark, Head of Public Services at Inspired PLC comments:
“It is positive that protection for social housing tenants against a backdrop of rising costs is being consulted upon, however the measures also need to take into account the costs for social housing providers to ensure that these vital services can continue to support our most vulnerable communities.”
The consultation will run for 6 weeks, closing on 12th October.