Network Homes’ response to the Government’s rent consultation
20 October 2022
The Government's Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) ran a consultation on social housing rent caps for the financial year 2023/24 which has now closed.
Social housing landlords such as Network Homes and the public were invited to share their views. We have now published our response.
The rising cost of living is making the lives of households around the UK much more difficult, including those in social housing, who have some of the lowest incomes. There are many who need support with housing costs, but we believe a blunt, percentage-based cap is the wrong way to go about this.
A further cap on rents without compensation to social landlords would be a mistake
Because we reinvest all the income, we collect into maintaining existing homes and building new affordable homes, a rent cap without compensation for social landlords would mean we would have to spend significantly less on one or more of the following:
- Planned/major maintenance, including building safety remediation
- Day to day repairs
- Housing management
- Building homes for those in housing need.
With high inflation, where many of our costs are going up by much more than the official rate of inflation, it is already harder to carry these tasks out. And due to the rising cost of living they are arguably even more important to be carried out responsively and effectively.
If the Government does impose a cap, it should be more flexible and it should be funded. If doesn’t not impose a cap, housing associations will be free to support residents in more targeted ways.
Levelling Rents research report
We've published a new research report Levelling Rents which proposes rebalancing submarket rents in order to establish a fairer social housing rent system and scrapping the household benefit cap. Social landlords such as Network Homes could reduce the number of high affordable rents by raising rents which are below the target average.