Press release: Regulator publishes Statistical Data Return 2016 to 2017

The Statistical Data Return 2016 to 2017, published today (24 October 2017) by the Regulator of Social Housing, shows that housing associations in England continued to increase the number of homes that they own and manage at the same time as implementing the social rent cuts introduced through the Welfare Reform and Work Act.

The SDR national statistics are collated from an annual survey of private registered providers of social housing in England. This year’s SDR is the first to systematically record the actual rents charged by housing associations since the rent reduction policy came into effect; it shows that rents have fallen accordingly. The reported average net rent for general needs properties of £96.61 per week represented a -1.3% decrease since 2016 for providers with more than 1,000 units or bed spaces.

Some of the trends in this year’s figures include:

  • PRPs reported a continued increase of 0.7% from 2016 in the amount of housing stock that they own – although this was the smallest increase since 2014, this was the first year since then in which no new stock transfers took place
  • large PRPs built a total of 36,438 units in 2016 to 2017 – this includes 23,907 sub-market rental units, which fell 14.2% from 2015 to 2016 due mainly to transition between HCA funding programmes
  • over 10% (288,048 units) of all stock within the sector is owned by a combination of five providers

The regulator collects data on stock type, size, rent and location of social housing stock at 31 March each year, and data on sales and acquisitions made between 1 April and 31 March. The information is used to inform its risk-based and proportionate approach to regulation and to help a range of stakeholders better understand the housing association market.

Fiona MacGregor, Executive Director of Regulation, said:

The publication of today’s SDR shows that the housing association sector has continued to increase the number of homes that it owns and manages for the benefit of social housing tenants throughout England, at the same time as implementing the requirements of the Welfare Reform and Work Act.

The figures reported in the 2017 Return show that, across the sector, rents have fallen in line with the terms of the Act. If SDR data raises concerns that individual providers may not be setting rents in line with the relevant standards and legislation, we will continue to seek assurance from the landlords concerned and if necessary will reflect this in published governance judgements.

The SDR 2016 to 2017 is available on the website.

Further information

The SDR consists of a statistical release document, a full data spreadsheet, full data set zip file, additional tables and a pre-release access list. All these documents are available from the SDR 2016-17 Statistical Release page on
Previous SDRs are also available on the website.

Figures do not include non-social housing units built by unregistered entities within PRP groups, which are outside the scope of the SDR.

A total of 1,432 providers completed this year’s Return compared with 1,490 providers in 2016. The drop was mainly as a result of changes in the structure of the sector, such as de-registrations and mergers.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England, and is the regulator of social housing providers. As regulator, its purpose is to promote a viable, efficient and well-governed social housing sector able to deliver homes that meet a range of needs. It does this by undertaking robust economic regulation, as enshrined in legislation, focusing on governance, financial viability and value for money that maintains lender confidence and protects the taxpayer. For more information visit the HCA website or follow us on Twitter.

Link: Press release: Regulator publishes Statistical Data Return 2016 to 2017
Source: Gov Press Releases