The only way many people in Britain – particularly the Home Counties – can afford a roof over their heads is through the affordable social housing provided by the nation’s housing associations.

While cutting the cost of rents by an annual 1% for four years will lower the cost of housing for those in need, it will inevitably have an impact on the quality of that housing and the support services available. Crucially it also threatens the ability of housing associations to build more homes to tackle the current housing crisis.

Hightown has a development programme that will deliver around 1,000 new affordable homes over the next three years, and while we’re financially strong enough for that to continue, a 1% rent cut will directly affect our income and reduce the rate we can deliver new housing stock.

The effects will be even more severe on the nation’s supported housing, which has higher build and management costs than other social housing. This form of housing exists to provide a home for the most vulnerable people in our society, as well as supporting them to develop independent living skills and participate in their own communities.

If this Bill goes through without amendment, Hightown will still be able to offer accommodation and tailored support to people with a wide range of needs, but the reduction in rent income will impact on our ability to grow our supported housing services at a time of increasing demand.

I urge the House of Lords to amend this Bill so housing associations like Hightown can support more of the most vulnerable people in our society, as well as build enough affordable homes to help address the vital need for more social housing. 

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David Bogle

Chief Executive

David has been Chief Executive of Hightown Housing Association for over 20 years. During this time the annual turnover of the Association has grown from £2.5 million to £60 million. Before coming to Hightown he worked at Anchor Housing Association for 17 years. He has a B.A. degree from King’s College, London and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing.