Branch Secretary :

New evidence that housing associations can afford decent pay


Sector optimistic and ready for future challenges


'Economic sentiment' among housing associations is at its highest level since the financial crisis according to an Inside Housing (pay wall) survey published this week; the ‘Health of the Sector’ survey was conducted by accountancy firm RSM.


Inside Housing quote Gary Moreton, of  RSM: “In the aftermath of the 2015 Budget, associations have shown their resilience and agility. As the sector braces itself for further welfare reforms, deregulation and increased pressure from the government to build, our survey shows that in general the sector is optimistic and ready for any future challenges.”


Standard and Poors say no credit downgrade after deregulation


In a further confirmation of the financial health of housing associations, the Standard and Poors rating agency have announced that the deregulation of housing associations will not lead them to downgrade the credit rating of associations.  Some had feared that this could lead to higher borrowing costs for associations.  


Details of the changes were produced by the HCA on March 15 and include removal of the requirement to obtain consent for disposals and constitutional changes and limitation of the regulators right to appoint managers and officers.


"...confident claims about the health of the sector to investors while pleading poverty to staff.  It is quite clear that they can afford to give staff decent pay and conditions..."


The sector booked a record surplus of £3.4billion last year, yet associations continue to squeeze the pay and conditions of junior staff while giving inflation busting increases to senior executives.  They make confident claims about the health of the sector to investors while pleading poverty to staff.  It is quite clear that they can afford to give staff decent pay and conditions. 


Surveys of  housing association staff have repeatedly high levels of stress and unrealsitic workloads combined with high levels of personal indebtedness.  Unite members are calling for a minumum 4% increase in the sector this year.


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