The Indigo House team is delighted to have advised the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) in its Rent Setting and Affordability Guide. The Guide has been a joint enterprise between Mandy Littlewood, Anna Evans and Andrea Paterson of Indigo House, with SFHA colleagues. The Guide was launched on 21st June, when Mandy and Anna presented to guide to a full house of SFHA members, and other interested landlords.
The Guide has been designed to be a practical tool to help housing associations and co-operatives make practical decisions on all aspects of rent policy, rent structures, rent setting and affordability in a way that embraces good value for money principles for both the landlord and their tenants. It can be used by governing body members; senior members of staff; and all staff involved in the rent setting process.
The Rent Setting Guide is structured around the rent setting process, to take readers through this step-by-step. It includes a rent-setting checklist and activities to allow members to test their organisations. The Guide also provides useful information to help readers understand the current legislation and economic context to rent setting in Scotland and the wider UK.
The Guide also provides members with an affordability tool, which is the culmination of the analysis and consultation work that Mandy did for SFHA on Rethinking Affordability. The affordability tool provides housing associations and co-operatives across Scotland with a simple way of comparing their rents for different sizes of property with moderate incomes for different household types.
The Rent Setting Guide also provides the reader with an update on current thinking around Value for Money (VFM) across the sector. The significant challenges facing social landlords in Scotland is likely to mean that we have to get better at measuring and at forecasting. We need to be more innovative in how we assess value and we need to get better at articulating what results we are getting with tenants and sometimes taxpayer’s money. VFM will help us to do that.