Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Dramatic pay and redundancy figures reveal the impact of economic gloom on housing jobs

Salary squeeze hits housing association pay

Housing association salary increases have dived by almost three-quarters this year.

An exclusive salary survey, conducted for Inside Housing, reveals an average pay rise of just 1.3 per cent this year for frontline workers. This is down from 4 per cent last year. Some landlords, such as Hastoe Housing Association, have frozen pay.

Further research from the Homes and Communities Agency has also revealed the growing impact of the recession on public and private sector housing and regeneration organisations, including housing associations, councils and developers.

It surveyed 100 housing professionals last month and found that 27 per cent of organisations had made staff redundant as a result of the recession. A further 55 per cent had restructured their businesses and 63 per cent had seen projects delayed.

Affinity Sutton, which has around 1,500 staff, axed 27 posts last year, although chief executive Keith Exford said this was a result of restructuring, rather than the recession.

Mr Exford said there would be no cost of living increases for staff this year, although performance-related bonuses would still apply. He said: ‘A lot of people recognise that the world is a different place and they are not expecting pay increases. There are some who never saw anything other than dramatic pay increases and they will be disappointed, but that’s life.’

Another housing giant, Guinness Trust, is offering a 1 per cent wage increase this year, for everyone including its chief executive Simon Dow. The group has also slashed 12 posts from its development, sales and marketing division.

Mr Dow said most associations were planning cautiously for next year: ‘As soon as we close the accounts for this year, we’ll start looking at the budgets for next year and seeing where we can make savings.’

David Montague, chief executive of L&Q Group, said a 2 per cent rise was planned for ‘absolutely everybody’ in his 800-staff organisation this year.
Inside Housing’s survey, conducted by Hays Social Housing, also showed that 54 per cent of employees felt insecure in their current jobs.

Rachael Maskell, national officer for the community and not-for-profit sector at Unite, said her union would be producing a ‘redundancy charter’ later this month, urging housing and other voluntary sector employers to keep staff on board.


Average housing association frontline pay increase in 2009


Average housing association frontline pay increase in 2008


Proportion of housing organisations that have made redundancies


Readers' comments (3)

  • I am surprised that your report only reflects RSLs that are freezing pay or offering minimal increases with no reference to pay cuts. For instance, the LHA-ASRA Group, while offering no increase in pay, is currrently in the process of a 5% pay cut. Although staff consultation is underway, the pay cut is already part of the business plan.

    The future for RSLs is very gloomy and it will do well to have intervention from the government as the banking sector has had.

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  • I believe LHA-ASRA, is the only housing association with a compulsory pay cut. Is there any other RSL with a pay cut?

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  • Norwich City Council have offered a .05% increase, which is on the table till July, if not agreed then the end result will be the offer being withdrawn and no increase

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