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The different funding regimes inherited by housing associations and councils are causing increasing rents chaos acc...
The different funding regimes inherited by housing associations and councils are causing increasing rents chaos according to new research published by the National Housing Federation and Local Government Association.

The research, by DTZ Pieda Consulting, points out that there is already wide variation in local rents charged by housing associations and local authorities at regional and local level.

It goes on to show that this difference will dramatically widen unless there is fundamental reform of the funding and regulatory regimes covering the sectors.

This rents chaos, caused by differences in funding and regulatory regimes, is a major problem for unemployed tenants moving into work, and as a consequence a problem for the government's welfare to work agenda.

The Local Government Association and National Housing Federation are calling on the government to promote a more consistent pattern of rents based on affordability, by reforming the funding and regulatory mechanisms governing councils and housing associations.

Together they are telling the government to recognise that housing costs are the biggest hurdle to taking up employment. If it is serious about welfare to work it needs to get serious about more affordable and more consistent rents for social tenants.

'Rents in local authority and registered landlord sectors' a report to the Local Government Association and National Housing Federation by DTZ Pieda Consulting. Published by Local Government Association publications.

Copies cost£20, code H0110. Sales copies available from Publication Sales, LGMB, Layden House, 76-86 Turnmill St, London EC1M 5QU. Telephone 0171 296 6600.

Previous research commissioned by the National Housing Federation showed that the Government could increase subsidy levels for housing associations from the present level of about 50% to 70% at a net total cost of only£50m a year. Savings in the benefit bill would offset the initial cost of the bricks and mortar investment.

Parliamentary written answers also show that the net public expenditure cost of a ten per cent reduction in local authority rents is only£100m (net present value) and that the cost of a ten per cent reduction in housing association rents would give rise to a net cost of less than£86m. In both cases this takes into account compensation for the loss of revenue to local authorities and housing associations. Independent, not-for-profit social landlords provide over a million homes in England. The federation is their voice and an advocate of decent housing for all.

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