South Lanarkshire uses rent affordability tool with tenants and staff to encourage dialogue and effective engagement

South Lanarkshire Council has effectively used HouseMark’s rent affordability tool with staff and tenants to understand better the implications of proposed rent changes and kick off constructive conversations.

The online tool, launched in partnership with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) in August 2018, is available exclusively to HouseMark and SFHA members at no extra cost. It calculates five affordability measures for a proposed rent entered by the user and allows for comparison to other local social landlords.

Talking about how South Lanarkshire Council has used the tool as part of their rent setting consultation with the Tenant Participation Co-ordination Group and the Budget Scrutiny Group, Annette Finnan, head of housing services, said: “A key question in setting our rents is whether they remain affordable relative to household incomes. Both our tenants and staff have the opportunity to discuss affordability and through the tool can see how our rents for different house types and sizes compare to other local authorities and Registered Social Landlords. This all helps us to have meaningful constructive engagement.”

The latest data for the new financial year is now available in the system. A range of income types and household sizes can be used for testing. Household incomes are calculated using methods developed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

HouseMark members can access the tool here.

Please note, you will need to log in to the members area to view the tool.

The tool is applicable to Scotland only.

For more information, contact

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