For the first time in four years, in line with government recommendations, we’re proposing to increase tenants’ rents by 2.7% in 2020.
Over the past four years Torus has reduced rents by 1% each year following a government policy from 2015 that required all social housing providers to cut their rents over a four-year period.
As a housing association, the rent we charge is set out by the government. From April 2020, the government regulator is recommending that housing associations increase rents in line with its 2020 rent standard. This is the Consumer Price Index increase (cost of living) at September 2019: 1.7% plus an additional 1%.
The government wants housing associations to build more homes to meet a national shortage and to invest more in services for existing tenants and communities.
From April 2020, in line with government recommendations, we are proposing to increase rents by 2.7%.
Rent increases will happen across the social housing sector as landlords, like Torus, raise rents in line with the government standard.
What will the rent increase pay for?
- Building more homes affordable homes to rent and buy – we’ve set ourselves a target of 5,300 by 2024 but we hope to exceed this target by at least 29%.
- Standardising the services we offer our customers, ensuring that wherever you live you have access to a service you can trust.
- We want to give you more than just a home, so we’ll invest in services that meet your needs - a reliable, responsive repairs service that’s available 365 days a year, budgeting and benefits advice, for those having trouble managing money and plenty of jobs and training opportunities, to help people into work.
- Maintaining and improving our existing homes and in environmental projects that will improve the appearance of our local neighbourhoods.
- Improvements to our contact centre to make it quicker and easier to contact Torus - tenants in Liverpool have a ‘Call Back’ facility, to standardise our service, we’re introducing this to St Helens and Warrington too, not only will this reduce your wait time on the phone it’ll save money.
- Making our websites more user friendly so you can transact with us on line at your convenience.
- Older tenants in St Helens and Warrington have had access to a specialist service with an active approach to aging well that supports them to stay independent in their own homes for longer. This service, which has had a huge impact on the lives of people over the age of 55, will be coming to Liverpool soon.
Listening to our customers
The Torus Board is keen to hear our customers thoughts on the proposed rent increase of 2.7%. Torus customers can share their opinion with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by joining our Facebook group for tenants, www.facebook.com/groups/TorusTalk/.
What happens next?
In February 2020 all customers will receive a letter to telling you exactly what your rent will be, along with any increase in service charge if you pay it.