Summer Budget 2015

In his Summer Budget the Chancellor made a series of announcements which will have a big impact on RBH and our customers.

Reduced rents will benefit our tenants, but, together with changes to benefits, will mean a significant reduction to RBH’s income leaving us with less money to invest in communities around the borough.

We have outlined the main points of the Summer Budget below.  Please get in touch with us on 0800 027 7769 or at if you would like any further information about how the new measures will affect you.

We believe that as a mutual society we are better placed to respond to this challenge than would otherwise have been the case.  By working together we can identify priorities and ensure that we support our customers.

Changes to Benefits

  • 18 - 21 year olds to have a Youth Obligation ‘Earn or Learn’ with no automatic entitlement to housing benefit from April 2017 - there are likely to be exceptions for vulnerable young adults.
  • A freeze on working age benefits for four years (including Tax Credits, Local Housing Allowance and Housing Benefit) - this applies to anyone under the age of 65.
  • The maximum a household can receive in benefits will be capped to £20,000.
  • Support available through Tax Credits and Universal Credit will be limited to two children and will begin to affect new claims from April 2017.
  • From April 2017 new employment and support allowance claimants considered to be capable of “work-related activity” will receive the same rate of benefit as those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Changes to rents

  • From April 2016, all housing association rents will be reduced by 1% in each of the next four years, so for example if your rent is currently £85 per week it will reduce to £84.15 in 2016 and then by a further 1% for the next three years to £83.31, then £82.48 and in 2019 to £81.65.
  • The Chancellor announced a ‘Pay to Stay’ scheme which means that anyone earning over £30,000 a year will be required to pay a market rent rather than a social rent.

Right to Buy

The Chancellor also confirmed plans to extend the Right to Buy scheme to all housing association tenants.  Most RBH tenants already benefit from the preserved Right to Buy which was preserved for tenants who transferred from the council in 2012.

What will the impact be?

Many tenants will benefit from the 1% reduction in their rent each year for the next four years. Some tenants will see their benefit payments reduced as a result of the changes.

RBH will see a significant reduction in income due to the measures - this will affect the ways in which we support our customers.