Unfair rent rises and uncapped service charges are causing financial distress for housing association tenants and residents up and down the country.
We’re making a stand. The Unfair and Uncapped campaign has launched to amplify the voices of those already struggling in the cost-of-living crisis.
We believe that government should freeze housing association rents when it announces the Social Rent Cap in November 2023, and should extend the cap to cover service charges. Here we offer five reasons for doing so.
In the highest cost-of-living crisis in 40 years, rising rents mean sinking hope for social housing tenants and residents. As our member Louisa says “Increasing rents at this time will plunge struggling families even further into poverty”
With around 50% of housing association tenants and residents receiving some state support for their housing costs, rising rents just mean more money being transferred from the taxpayer to housing associations.
Housing associations collectively have a surplus of £4.4 billion. They can afford to freeze rents and cap service charges to help people stay in their homes. And it will help move these landlords back towards their original social purpose of alleviating poverty.
Government defines ‘affordable rent’ at anything up to 80% of full market prices. In some places, this is very high compared to average wages. Pricing people out of their homes causes huge social problems, and puts a strain on health and welfare services.
Rising rents fuel inflation. The cost-of-living crisis is already hurting the UK economy and its people. We frequently hear (fallacious) claims that wage rises cause inflation, but commentators rarely refer to the impact of landlord greed.
Last year, SHAC members took action over the April 2023 rent and service charge rises. The protests helped force government to ditch its inflation-linked rent rise formula in favour of a lower cap (see more here).
This year, self-organised housing association tenants and residents are again coming together across the UK to say “no more excuses”. They will be putting the brakes on landlord exploitation through rent and service charge strikes, and through protests.
Decent, genuinely affordable public housing is essential for a healthy society. Join the Uncapped and Unfair campaign for transparent, fair, and affordable social housing.