South West housing job loss risk after social rent cut

Image caption DCH said it would have to save up to £4.5m a year

Dozens of jobs could go at one of the largest housing associations in the South West due to planned rent cuts, according to the association.

DCH says it has been reviewing its services after the government announced a 1% rent cut for social housing in England over four years.

A spokeswoman for the association said it was reviewing staffing and there could be up to 40 redundancies.

She said it would have to save up to £4.5m a year.

The spokeswoman said this was between 2.6% and 3.4% of the association's annual income.

"The consultations will consider changes to 85 roles and we anticipate that around 40 staff may be made redundant. Our focus now is on minimising redundancies."

She said it was not possible to go into more detail on what the budget cut would mean for services at the moment.

'Fairness for taxpayers'

The national Housing Association Federation said the 1% rent cut could see the whole sector lose up to £3.9bn per year.

A spokesman said: "Housing associations are the most successful public-private partnerships in history and have created their business plans based on the current rental formula.

"Housing associations want to work with the Government to meet its housing ambitions, but this policy will make it much harder for them to do so."

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "Social housing rent has risen by 20% since 2010, more than double the increase in the private sector.

"Lowering social rents will help protect social tenants from rising housing costs, while ensuring fairness for taxpayers."

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