Better business

What are "affordable rent" and "social rent" and how do we use your rent?

Rooftop Communications Team
October 5, 2021

If the home you rent is owned by Rooftop Housing Group you will generally be paying either affordable rent or social rent.

Social rent was introduced by the Government in 2001, this is a formula-based rent which means a calculation is made based on the relative value of the property, relative local income levels and the size of the property to work out how much rent will be paid. With social rent there is a rent flexibility of 5% allowed for general needs homes and a flexibility 10% for homes in older people’s developments or in supported housing. If there are any service charges they are added on to this rent.

Affordable rent was introduced by the Government in 2011 for all registered providers of housing (known as RPs) that have agreed affordable housing development programmes. Rooftop have those developments. This agreement helped more homes to be built with less government grant. The rent is set at up to 80% of market rent using an RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) valuation.

If the affordable rent is lower than the social rent, then the social rent will be charged.

The word "affordable" was used by Government to show the difference between market rent (100%), and the reduced rent (80%) charged by RPs. "Affordable" does not mean that your rent changes with your financial circumstances. If your income goes up or down your rent will stay the same, with any regular annual changes.

If you are having any financial difficulties and trouble paying you rent Rooftop has a dedicated team of Money Advisors who can help you claim the correct benefits, help you budget, and introduce you to other agencies who may be able to help.

We think very carefully about how we develop new homes for rent, making sure that they are financially viable – what we mean by financially viable is the rent for the homes (whether it is “affordable rent” or “social rent”) needs to cover the costs of development, loan repayments, maintenance, and investment over time. We also develop homes for Shared Ownership, and occasionally we will build homes for sale, but as we are a not-for-profit organisation, we put all our money from shared ownership and sale into our services along with the rent you pay us.

Part of the funding we get is from Homes England grants. Homes England are the Government body, jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, who have responsibility for giving funding to RPs like Housing Associations, and commercial home builders. Rooftop only gets Homes England funding for homes that meet Homes England’s funding rules.

Rooftop receives funding to build new homes through a combination of Homes England grant, which is typically about 30% of total building scheme costs, then we borrow against future rental income (which is a bit like a mortgage) and the sales income from shared ownership homes.

Before we start any new building projects they are first judged against a set of targets (management and maintenance costs, major repairs, interest and inflation) together with a set of strict guidelines for value for money which are approved by our Board every year.

The rent you pay us pays for our ongoing services like repairs, staff, maintenance, and the

rent also goes towards the costs of building new homes so we can help more people like you to live in a great home.

You can see a chart of our costs below, and there are more detailed charts in our Annual Report to Tenants that we publish every year.

You can see a chart of our costs below, and there are more detailed charts in our Annual Report to Tenants that we publish every year.

Each year we look at rents and we may increase them slightly. This decision is never taken lightly and is closely controlled by rules set by Government.

Value for Money is sometimes a difficult thing to work out from organisation to organisation, which is why Value For Money is closely regulated by the Government and we report against the Value for Money Standard 2018.

You can find the full Value for Money report here.

If you would like to know more about the following topics, please click or tap the links.

Work Advice.

Rooftop reports including Annual Financial Statement, Complaints, and Board minutes.

Rooftop Executive Team - our senior leaders.

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