Rent Increase 2023/24
You will be aware we have been consulting all our customers on the rent increase for financial year 2023/2024. We would like to thank everyone who took time to give us their feedback.
We are acutely aware of the issues customers are facing as a continued result of the cost-of-living-crisis. The Board have carefully considered the impact of a rent increase on our customers and the results of our rent consultation, to find a balance against our need to continue to deliver high quality services to our customers whilst funding the Association’s Business Plan. We have gathered information from our customers through several routes including:
- Our Rent Consultation, including online Engagement Workshops and Feedback through our Consultation Survey
- Discussions with our Customer Panel
- Our Annual Customer Survey 2022
Rent Increase Consultation
Our Rent Consultation resulted in 71 customers (1.5% of our total customers) providing us with their views. It is clear from the responses received that 2022 was a challenging year for many. We have noted the reasons below why some of our customers advised a rent increase should not be put in place for 2023/24:
- 29% of the 71 customers responding did not agree with a rent increase and told us that affordability was the main reason for this view.
- 17% of the 71 customers responding stated the condition of their property was the key factor influencing their view.
- 10% of the 71 customers responding advised the condition of their estate was key in influencing their view.
- 1% of the 71 customers responding felt they did not feel that they were receiving a value for money service.
Annual Customer Survey 2022
- 81% of those responding believed the rent for their property represented good value for money.
- 27.5% felt it was very good value for money.
- 11% advising poor value.
All respondents were asked about how often they find it difficult to meet the cost of rent payments and other expenses or payments. The results are as follows:
- 66% of respondents said they rarely or never find it difficult to afford meeting the costs.
- 23% said they occasionally find it difficult.
- 11% advised they very/quite often found it difficult.
Where respondents did find it difficult to meet rent costs, the main reasons were as follows:
- 49% said they find it difficult to meet costs very/quite often or occasionally due to gas, electricity and other fuel bills.
- 37% said they find it difficult to meet costs very/quite often or occasionally due to the food costs.
- 34% said they find it difficult to meet costs very/quite often or occasionally due to council tax costs.
Comparisons with Inflationary Pressures
When considering any increase in rent levels we also consider cost inflation within the wider economy. This impacts Clyde Valley Group in terms of price increases from our suppliers and contractors. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) provides an indicator of cost inflation. CPI remains above 10% at the time of writing. We have worked to maintain rent increases at a rate well below inflation.
Scottish Government Rent Cap/Freeze
The Scottish Government introduced legislation during 2022 that prevented housing associations increasing their rents up to the 31st March 2023, with the option of extending this freeze (or introducing a rent cap) for a further period after 31st March 2023. Following a period of consultation with the housing association sector, the Scottish Government reached a decision in January 2023 to remove the rent freeze/cap, allowing housing associations to increase rents from 1st April 2023. This was on the explicit agreement that any rent increases would be well below the level of inflation.
The rent increase is considered annually by the Board along with any significant change to budgets, investment priorities or economic conditions. This includes the impact of inflation and the long-term impact of a rent increase which is below current inflation.
This year there has been a balance to strike between property investment costs, affordability and the economic impact households are experiencing during the cost-of-living crisis. We have considered business risks relating to future investment requirements in your homes, economic uncertainty, and the financial health of the Association, alongside our performance in comparison to other housing associations.
Our commitment to you in 2023/2024 will be to continue to focus on improving our services to you and to invest in your homes. We want to deliver value for money and quality services for the rent you pay and to achieve this we must ensure that we optimise the productivity from our finances, staff, and contractors. We are listening to your feedback. We want you to know that it is important that we can prioritise the issues that you have said are important to you, including keeping your neighbourhoods clean and safe and providing sustainable housing and communities.