As a Registered Provider of social housing SLH is obliged to meet the requirements of the regulator’s Rent Standard, but rents also need to be set at levels which will generate sufficient income to support the SLH Business Plan and fund the promises made in the Offer Document.
Rents for 2015/16 have been set in accordance with the Government’s new Social Rent Policy which restricts rent levels and the rate of increase which can be applied each year. This resulted in an increase of 2.2% and an actual average weekly rent of £89.64 per week based on a 52 week rent year.
SLH rents are considerably lower than other housing association rents in the area. Whilst this represents a better deal for tenants and a lower benefit bill for the local authority we are nevertheless keen to evaluate other rent products such as ‘Affordable Rents’ to maximise income which can then be reinvested into the provision of new homes.
Our spend levels are also kept to a minimum and SLH has over the years maintained a frugal approach to spending money with VFM playing an increasingly important role in all our decisions. Most of our income (45p of every £1 received in 2014/15) is reinvested in improvement works or in the provision of new homes for rent. Our overall spend over the last two years can be broken down as follows:
|How we spent each £1 of income during the year:||2014/15||2013/14|
|Improving homes and communities||45p||43p|
|Repairs and maintenance||20||19|
|Interest on loans||9p||8p|
|Total £1 spend||100p||100p|