Social housing rent cut could mean job losses


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JOB losses are possible at a North Somerset housing association as it aims to plug a £3million gap in its finances.

Government Chancellor George Osborne announced in July how social housing tenants would see their rent reduced by one per cent a year for the next four years.

The aim was to force housing associations to lower rents.

Alliance Homes, which has a number of houses in Weston, will decide on October 9 how its business will move forward.

But Allan Milnes, housing services manager at Alliance, warned it could mean there would be job losses and a promise to find 250 new social homes has been put on hold.

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The Government told North Somerset Council last week that it needs to build 21,000 homes in the district.

Developers are told 30 per cent of the homes need to be affordable, but at the moment, these will not be picked up by Alliance Homes.

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Mr Milnes said: “It will affect what we are currently doing, including building new property.

“For the time being, that’s on hold.”

Mr Milnes said the Government’s plans have left a big hole in the company’s finances and its 30-year business plan.

Alliance Homes is registered as a social enterprise, which means its profits go back into the community.

Mr Milnes said: “This is not just affecting us, but housing associations all over the country.

“One per cent doesn’t seem like much, but it is every year for four years.

“The impact a year will be about £3million a year on what we can do and cannot do.

“It is quite significant.”

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