Following its annual review by the Regulator of Social Housing, English Rural’s viability has been regraded from V1 to V2. This change, officially announced on 17th January 2024, is viewed as a strategic reflection on our commitment to investing in existing homes and continuing a proportionate development programme to meet the urgent need for affordable rural housing.
Chief Executive Martin Collett said, “The shift to a V2 rating aligns with our continued strategic commitment of leveraging financial capacity to address the chronic need for affordable rural housing alongside achieving the investment requirements of existing homes and services. Inevitably, the deteriorating financial environment has meant that delivering homes and services to those that need them has come at a greater financial cost, creating a downward pressure on financial comfort.”
Our organisation, while accommodating the changed financial environment, has purposely sought to navigate this in a way that has allowed the continued delivery of strategic commitments. The scheduled review of strategic plans already underway will allow the Board of English Rural a further opportunity to reflect on what more can be achieved over coming years. This review informed by and tested against our longer-term financial projections to ensure that business health and security are maintained. Importantly, we continue to operate with a sound and tested financial plan, have sufficient security, and comfortably meet our financial covenants.
“The V1 to V2 regrading is becoming more prevalent among housing associations, reflecting the broader decline of economic conditions and hollowing out of business capacity from the disconnect between rent levels and costs.” adds Collett. “Our primary focus continues to be on prudent yet ambitious growth through the provision of quality, affordable housing and enhancing the well-being of rural communities.”
English Rural is proud of our journey and the impact we make every day. We are dedicated to our purpose and look forward to continuing our work in building thriving and sustainable rural communities.