Changes to your Rent- 2023
Each year we review our customers’ rent. The amount we can increase rent by to cover increases in our running costs follows a formula set by the Government. Normally, annual rent increases match the rate of inflation in the previous September, plus 1%. This would have meant a rent increase of 11.1% in April 2023. Following consultation with the Government, social housing providers, including South Lakes Housing (SLH), have agreed to cap the increase in rent for this year at 7%, to help minimise the impact on customers.
The Government has confirmed that National Living Wage and benefits will increase in line with inflation. If you receive Housing Benefit, Universal Credit or another form of benefit to pay your rent, these payments will rise from April onwards.
You will shortly receive a letter that set out your new rent and service charges.
Why do we need to increase rents?
SLH is a not-for-profit, community benefit housing association. The money we collect from rents is re-invested in maintaining our current homes and services and providing much needed new affordable housing.
Our costs are increasing at a rate that is significantly higher than inflation, especially for core services such as providing repairs and maintenance, building materials, heating, and service contracts. This means we need to increase rents to continue to safely provide key services, maintain and improve the homes we manage, invest in critical safety works, build new affordable homes, and support our customers and local communities.
Increasing rents by 7% means that in 2023-24 we can:
- Maintain and improve our existing homes – over £13 million will be spent on existing homes, including £4 million making homes more energy-efficient, keeping running costs down.
- Develop high quality affordable homes for those most in need – over £12 million will be spent, utilising almost £2 million of Government grants to provide much needed new homes for local people.
- Invest in our communities and neighbourhoods – around half a million will be spent on improving the environment within neighbourhoods to help provide sustainable communities for our customers.
Keeping rents fair and affordable is a key priority for South Lakes Housing. We continue to benchmark our rents and our social rents are approximately 60% of local market rents.
Help and Support
We know that many people are facing financial difficulties because of rising prices and energy bills. We are committed to supporting you if you are facing financial difficulties and we have a friendly knowledgeable Income Team at SLH who can provide you with advice and support and can signpost you to help available. We are here to help so don’t delay getting in touch.
If you are finding it hard to make ends meet, please remember your rent is a priority debt. You can lose your home if you do not keep up to date with rent payments. Our Income Team is responsible for the collection of rent. Their role is to help customers maintain rent payments and provide support if your rent account is in arrears; for example, by setting up affordable repayment plans. It’s always better to contact us sooner rather than later, and our team are available to help.
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