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Council rents after 2020 12/04/2017 Labelled as Consultation

The government has promised further discussions with the housing sector before setting out a new rent policy for the period beyond 2020 "in due course". The policy will help raise borrowing against future income.


The recent Housing White Paper confirmed the government will continue with its policy of reducing council and housing association rents by 1% a year for the next three years but promises an announcement "in due course" on a rent policy for social housing landlords (both housing associations and local authorities) for the period beyond 2020.


As we know, the government's previous social rent policy published in 2014 was based on a 10-year rent policy of rent increases of CPI & 1% from April 2015. However, this was overturned less than a year later in George Osborne's summer Budget where he announced the imposition of mandatory 1% annual rent reductions through to 2020; causing significant problems for councils' Housing Revenue Account Business Plans leading many to significantly reducing investment in the housing stock and housing services.


We understand from discussions with DCLG officials at the last ARCH Board meeting that the earliest likely date for an announcement on a new social rent policy is this year's autumn Budget. Therefore, we'll need to be prepared to make the case for council housing in advance of any announcement. 


ARCH and the NFA (National Federation of ALMOs) will be working together to develop a common proposal on future council rents for publication in September. We're in communication with the National Housing Federation who are working to a similar timetable to firm up a position on behalf of housing associations. 


As part of this work we plan to publish a consultation paper inviting councils' views on a range of options for future rents policy.


We'll be writing to ARCH members in the next few weeks to seek their views and will be consulting with the ARCH Tenants' Group in due course.

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ARCH Member Comments 1 people like this

  • Dave Richmond, Hull CC - 13 April 2017

    The importance of a clear position in respect of future rent policy was recently made at a NHC dinner with Isobelle Stephen.

    If we are to bring forward development plans we need to know what the future rental income is projected to be. From the standpoint of growth ( and potentially several other angles) rent reduction is an own goal for the government and they need to be clear about their position if they expect LAs to help address the need to build significantly more homes.

    Dave Richmond- Hull