80% rise in rent arrears is expected by housing providers

  • Social housing is preparing for an 80% rise in rent arrears due to government welfare reforms, reports study.

    Baker Tilly, a law firm, found that the average level of rent arrears was 2.64% in the year ending 2013 but it was due to rise in 4.82% in 2014-15. Housing Crisis

    The findings are supported by Baker Tilly's back office benchmarking which found that housing providers were budgeting for debts of 1.85% in the current financial year which is up from 0.86% last year, which is a rise of 115%, reports 24dash.

    84% of respondents said that they had hired additional members of staff as a direct response to welfare reforms, and a further 11% said they were planning on taking on additional staff to support their tenants through the changes.

    Data suggest that approximately 73% of housing association tenants are on at least one form of housing benefit.

    Gary Moreton, Baker Tilly's head of social housing said: "Social housing providers are devoting significant time and resource preparing for the potential impact of welfare reform, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty about what the future may hold for rent arrears and bad debts, and the type of housing stock required to meet tenant needs."

    Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1020195

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Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Found the seminar very informative and gave an interesting and full insight into current thinking about the consultation.  Michael was a very engaging and knowledgeable presenter and encouraged interaction with the audience which led to further relevant points being shared with the room.  I shall certinaly look out for future events!" M.E. - Care Housing Association

 

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