Section: Housing Finance

New White Paper explores the benefits of flexible rent services

Posted 29.03.21
HACT: Further reading

HACT and rent-flex have published a White Paper exploring the benefits of flexible rent services for both residents and social housing organisations.

Andrew van Doorn, Chief Executive of HACT, said:

"Rent arrears are growing challenges in our sector. This White Paper looks at rent-flex as an empowering solution to tenancy sustainment challenges.

"As a platform that gives residents the opportunity to develop personalised rent payment plans for the year ahead, our White Paper finds that the benefits of rent-flex, for residents and the wider business of social housing organisations, are extensive."

Damon Gibbons, Executive Director, Centre for Responsible Credit, who has led the development of rent-flex, said:

"Rent-flex has been developed with the active involvement of social housing tenants. Many of them face reasonably predictable 'financial pinch-points' in the year, such as at Christmas. Others have volatile incomes.

"By personalising rent payment schedules to reflect the reality of peoples' lives, rent-flex can reduce the need to borrow (often at high-cost) to makes ends meet.

"And the new digital platform we have created allows tenants to indicate what other financial support they require and alert their landlords easily to any changes in circumstance over the year."

The White Paper draws on the results of a rent-flex pilot with Optivo tenants to determine the key benefits of the service.

The rent-flex platform will shortly be available to other social landlords for testing and expressions of interest in developing further trials are invited.

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Councils in England will have more freedom on how they spend the money from homes sold through Right to Buy

Posted 20.03.21
GOV.UK: Further reading

Councils in England will have more freedom on how they spend the money from homes sold through Right to Buy, under reforms announced by the Government.

This will make it easier for councils to fund homes using Right to Buy receipts, including for shared ownership, First Homes and housing at affordable/social rent.

The Government argues that the changes will facilitate greater flexibility over the types of homes provided to reflect the needs of their communities.

It will also give councils more time to use receipts and to develop building programmes. The government wants homes supplied using Right to Buy receipts to be the best value for money and to add to overall housing supply - to help towards its target of delivering 300,000 new homes a year across England by the mid-2020s.

The changes take effect from 1 April 2021, with the exception of a new acquisition cap, which will be introduced from 1 April 2022 on a phased basis.

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Reporting on March 2021

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