Strategic planning is crucial for squeezed affordable housing providers

gemma bell

Mergers? Joint venture partnerships? Stock rationalisation? as housing associations face huge financial pressure, Gemma Bell looks at the options available to providers

The financial viability downgrading from ‘V1’ to ‘V2’ of 19 registered providers (RPs) by the Regulator of Social Housing earlier this month gave the clearest message yet that RPs are facing some of the most turbulent of economic times.

While the Autumn Statement announcement of a 7% cap on social and affordable rent increases is more welcome news that the potentially apocalyptic mooted 3% or 5% caps, this has to be balanced against the realities of inflationary pressures. Findings issued by the Centre for Economics and Business Research anticipate a 14.1% year-on-year increase in construction costs by the end of 2022, and repairs and maintenance costs have surged, with annual price increases for materials peaking in April 2022 at 16.8%.

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