New report gives insight into what value for money means to tenants

Iain Muirhead
Iain Muirhead

Rent levels and affordability are among the issues which tenants and service users rank highest when considering what value for money means to them, according to a new report.

The Scottish Housing Regulator’s National Panel of Tenants and Service Users has said that the quality of home also has a big influence on value for money judgments.

The report brings together feedback from the National Panel’s fourth year. Almost all Panel members said that value for money should feature in landlords’ performance reporting. More than nine out of ten feel this information would be useful to tenants. Panel members favour a range of measures rather than a clear preference for one single indicator.

The Panel also considered rent affordability. Around a third of members who took part in the survey have experienced rent affordability problems. And looking forward, two thirds have concerns around potential future rent affordability problems because of future rent increases or changes to their benefits or income.

National Panel fourth yearIain Muirhead, the Regulator’s director of strategy and communications, said: “The National Panel continues to give us really valuable insights into what’s important to people who use social landlords’ services. The report shows that tenants have an appetite for their landlords to continue to develop how they demonstrate value for money.

“Future rent affordability featured again this year in the Panel’s discussions. Our message remains that landlords should consider tenants’ ability to keep paying rent in the longer term when setting rents.”

Later this month the Regulator will publish its National headline findings from the Scottish Social Housing Charter. That report will show the national picture on rent levels and tenant satisfaction on value for money.

The Regulator is embarking on a review of its Regulatory Framework later this year. It will work closely with stakeholders on the review. The National Panel’s feedback will help shape its thinking.

With almost 500 members, the Panel is open to anyone who is a social housing tenant or uses social landlords’ services. Membership is diverse and includes people from urban and rural areas, across age bands, local authority and RSL tenants. Anyone interested in joining the Panel can visit the Craigforth website for details.

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