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Posted 01 March 2022

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Rent increases

From 4 April 2022, the cost of renting a home from us is going to increase by 4.1%.

From 2016 up until 2020, we saw the cost of rent decrease by 1% each year, which has meant we had to reduce our costs wherever possible, whilst still delivering our core services. In 2021 and again now in 2022 we are increasing our rent costs for a number of reasons that we would like to explain to you.

We completely understand and appreciate that we’re seeing rising costs in many different areas of our lives, and this is extremely difficult to manage, and we would urge you to get in touch with our teams on hand to support with financial and budgeting advice if you have any worries.

The information below explains why we have had to increase the cost of rent from 4 April 2022:   

  • Our running costs have increased, meaning to be able to continue to operate and offer all of our services – including repairs & maintenance and housing management, we need more income
  • Materials have also increased in cost, which has again had a knock on effect to us and means to be able to continue to be able to offer you our services
  • We’re continuing to invest more than ever on safety and compliance to ensure you feel safe and secure in your home
  • Offering opportunities to local people is so important, and now more than ever we want to help people get into work, receive training and get the qualifications to progress. Without this additional income, we wouldn’t be able to help all those people that really need our support.

Even with this increase, we remain more affordable than privately renting a home. On average it costs around £152.25 per week for a three bedroom, private rent home in areas we have homes. By comparison our rent (including the 4.1% increase) would amount to £99.68 for a social rent home (excluding service charges) and £127.71 for a three bedroom new build affordable home, making our options to rent a home £52 (social) and £24 (affordable) cheaper than the private sector.

The ‘rent standard’ set by the government came into action from 1 April 2020, which meant housing associations like ourselves can increase our rents by up to CPI (the Consumer Price Index inflation measure) plus 1%. The government has said this standard will stay in place for five years. CPI at September 2021 was 3.1%, meaning that we are able to increase our rents by up to 4.1% in April.

Check out this video from our Chief Exec, Steve Hepworth who explains in more detail the reasons around our rent increase.

https://youtu.be/QNyZeCwH1QA

This decision was made after consulting with Community Voice (our tenant panel) who recognised both the pressures on tenant budgets and the pressures on Ongo’s own rising costs.  The feedback from Community Voice was presented to our Board who took the views into account as part of their decision and asked that more support be made available for any tenants who may get into difficulties paying rent or other bills.

Everyone will receive a letter in the post by the end of February, with details about the change in rent costs and any additional service charges for the year ahead.

If you receive your rent increase letter and have any questions or queries – check out our handy Q&A document. If you can’t find what you’re looking for you can get in touch with us.

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