In the summer edition of Your Home (our newsletter for our customers) I explained that a good deal of my time over the summer, would be spent assessing the impact of the Governments announcement to reduce all housing association rents by 1% for each of the next four years.
As rents are the main source of our income, I said it would be a challenge to maintain our current level and range of services, whilst coping with a reduction in the amount of rent money we can collect to pay for them.
In terms of rent, the Trust will lose nearly £7.7million of rental income over the next 4 years and by 2020, our annual income will be £4.2million lower than it is now.
This presents a major challenge for us, in terms of deciding where the necessary savings have to be made to make good this shortfall in income. We have had to make some very difficult decisions to ensure that the Trust can continue to provide a core quality service to our customers, whilst ensuring that we continue to operate on the sound financial footing we do now.
We have had to look to reduce the amount of money we spend on our services and our staffing, as our overall budget for next year will have to reduce by £2.2 million.
We are still in the process of finalising our plans for next year, but we already anticipate that in addition to changes to some of our services, we will have to make some posts redundant within the Trust. We will do all we can to avoid compulsory job losses by not filling some vacancies, and offering voluntary redundancy, but it is inevitable that we will lose some people.
This is both sad and disappointing, as I am likely to lose some very committed and able individuals who have contributed to our success.
A reduction in staffing numbers will also have to be accompanied by efficiency savings inside the Trust, together with the change to some services that I mentioned previously. We are still working through the detail and will keep our customers informed of these changes.
This is a challenging time at the Trust but I know that my colleagues will continue to provide the best possible service, as we go through these changes.
Read Impact of the 1% Rent Reduction on the Trust…