SHAC Calls for No Rent or Service Charge Rises in a Cost-of-Living Crisis

Social rents and service charges will rise by around 10% for most people living in housing association properties in 2023 under the current social rents formula.

SHAC is lobbying government to hold social rents and service charges at current levels. But we don’t believe we can win through pleading alone. We are therefore supporting tenants and residents to withhold any increase applied from April.

The names of signatories will not be published but we will report the number of signatures overall and per landlord.

Unaffordable to Tenants and Residents

The amount that housing associations can raise rents is decided by government every November when it announces the formula to be used. In 2022, the formula was based on the September Consumer Price Index figure plus 1% (CPI+1). A repeat of this formula will mean increases of around 10% or more to be applied from April 2023. CPI was 9.4% in July 2022 and trending upwards. There is no cap on the amount housing associations can charge for services.

People are already struggling and cannot afford higher bills.

I recently retired and was told my income is over what the government says you can live on. I am £1.50 over the limit, I don’t even qualify for the energy payment. I have no idea how I’m going to live with all this. I have a war disablement pension, it’s £40 a week, and if I hadn’t got that, well, I’d be joining the hundreds of homeless on the streets”

Bob, social housing tenant

The rising cost of living means that people are already managing tightly squeezed budgets. Households cannot not absorb further rent and service charge rises at any level.

Unaffordable to the Taxpayer

Government’s own reporting shows that in 2020/21, around three million households had their rents and service charges covered by Universal Credit. Of these, around 1 million households were in housing association properties.

Housing associations were paid a total of £16 billion by the taxpayer in respect of the Housing Benefit via Universal Credit; a direct transfer of taxpayers’ money to landlords.

The housing association sector has a collective operating surplus of around £4.4 billion.

At a time when public services are being squeezed to the limit, it is inexcusable to transfer an even larger amount from taxes to landlords.

The campaign is supported by Unite the Union, The Radical Housing Network, and Homes for All.

You Can Help

Use the QR code to spread the word about the pledge to friends, family, and neighbours.

Add one of the messages below as a ‘PS’ on your email signature:

There should be no rent or service charge rises in a cost-of-living crisis! I’ve signed The Pledge and will not pay any rent or service charge increases from April 2023. You can view the Pledge here.

There should be no rent or service charge rises in a cost-of-living crisis! I’ve signed The Pledge to show my solidarity with those who go on rent/service charge strike. You can view the Pledge here

30 July 2022