As a result of the one per cent rent reduction from April 2016 to April 2020, we estimate we will have £10million less income than we planned in the same period. Over the next 30 years this is a loss in income of £173 million.
At the same time, as a result of changes to welfare benefits, some tenants are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain rent payments and may have fallen into arrears, which means we have less cash to pay for services to tenants eg repairs, improvements and other services.
The Government, when it introduced the rent reduction, said it expected councils and other social landlords to make efficiencies in services to cover the loss of income.
We have already put in place new ways of working to ensure we get as much income as possible through rents and by letting properties as quickly as possible..
However, as we spend most of our money on repairs and maintenance to council homes, we have looked closely at how we can reduce this spending and get value for money.
This has included comparing what repairs we carry out for tenants compared to other councils and landlords, including North East Derbyshire and Bolsover. The changes we are proposing to repairs bring us in line with what people are asked to do in other council areas.
We will still carry out all the repairs we are required to do by law and those which could be dangerous for a non-qualified tradesperson to do.
If we don’t make these savings, it may mean that other estate and tenancy based services are affected, for example, grass cutting, fly tipping and responding to anti-social behaviour.