2022/23 Rent affordability consultation
We would like to share the results of our most recent consultation with residents on our Rent Affordability Model.
Written by Will—
08 Feb, 2023
Rent affordability review
Last summer, we sought feedback from our residents about the Rent Affordability Model that Melin uses to set its rates of rent. This is based on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation ‘Living Rents Model’ which states that rent should be no more than 28% of a resident’s’ income. We had feedback from over 1,200 residents and 93.9% of you agreed with this approach. We also carried out another survey by text in December 2022 which received 526 responses. 87.2% of residents continued to support this approach to how we set our rents.
We also recently consulted with residents about what services they most value. By a big margin, the service of most importance to residents was repairs. This was followed by Melin Advice and support services. We were also pleased to receive a lot of positive comments about the level of customer service we provide.
We also made sure during our consultation that comments from residents that required a response were followed up by our Customer Contact Team. We are always happy to hear feedback, both positive and negative, and so if you want to share your views at any time, please get in touch.
How the living rent is calculated
We assess the average income from data provided by the Office of National Statistics. This gives us an estimate of lower earners in the areas where we have properties. This will be done every year to make sure our figures are up to date. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation says that housing costs are unaffordable if they are over a third of a household’s income. For this reason, we use 28% of the average income for the lower earners to set our rents.
We have adjusted the rents for different property sizes and types by considering the smallest families that would be allocated to our homes.
For example, most of our one-bedroom properties are occupied by single people, so the Living Rent for these properties is based on the income of an individual who is in work.
The Living Rents for our larger homes are higher as more family members will tend to be living in them. We have considered how a family’s income and outgoings change as house size changes.
If you claim Universal Credit
If you receive Universal Credit, you will need to notify the DWP through your online portal after 6 April 2021 to tell them if your rent has increased. They may continue to pay the old rent amount until you notify them of the increase. It’s important that you tell them that you don’t have any free weeks and are charged every week of the year.
If you claim Housing Benefit
We will notify the Local Authority of any rent increases and you do not have to do anything.
If you need help to pay your rent
Whether your circumstances have changed, you have been given fewer hours at work, or your benefits have been cut, our Money Advice Team can provide help to ease the pressure on your finances. Give the team a call on 01495 745910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are now looking at our service charges to ensure they are as low as possible and provide you with value for money. We will keep you informed as this work progresses.