Mark Whitehead 22 June 2023

Increase in rent arrears since Covid pandemic

Increase in rent arrears since Covid pandemic image
Image: spectrumblue/Shutterstock.com

The number of social housing tenants in rent arrears has gone up since the Covid pandemic, according to new research.

Data intelligence firm Mobysoft found a third of housing associations are having to offer more flexible payment plans or rent and service charge holidays while similar numbers are introducing hardship funds for tenants and partnering with food banks.

Its report Future-proofing Social Housing says two thirds of housing associations are experiencing a higher number of tenants in rent arrears.

The firm's survey of 100 UK housing associations revealed a range of challenges facing tenants including rising household bills, fluctuating income levels, trouble finding work and food and fuel inflation.

Julie Lorraine, strategic director at Mobysoft, said: 'Social housing is between a rock and a hard place, with conflicting obligations creating a dichotomy in the sector.

'Housing associations are under mounting pressure to invest in improving existing homes, including sustainability upgrades, while also continuing to deliver more new homes.

'At the same time, the cost-of-living crisis is putting their main revenue stream, rent collection, under pressure as increasing numbers of financially vulnerable social housing customers start falling behind on their payments.'

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