Up to 50 jobs may go at North Hertfordshire Homes as government budget means loss of £17 million over four-year period

North Hertfordshire Homes, the largest social landlord in the county which has bases in Letchworth a

North Hertfordshire Homes, the largest social landlord in the county which has bases in Letchworth and Hitchin, faces job cuts of up to 50 posts due to loss of income. - Credit: Archant

The county’s largest social landlord has announced dozens of job losses as it battles to balance its books following an income cut.

North Hertfordshire Homes chief executive Gavin Cansfield.

North Hertfordshire Homes chief executive Gavin Cansfield. - Credit: Archant

North Hertfordshire Homes, which has offices in Hitchin and Letchworth, employs 325 people and has said 45 to 50 posts will be axed after the government’s Summer Budget included a one per cent reduction in rent income for the next four years.

The change in policy will mean the housing association will have £17 million less in income than had been allowed for over this period.

A voluntary redundancy scheme has been launched to mitigate against a compulsory redundancy programme for staff, 281 of which work full-time.

A spokesman for NHH, which has 9,000 homes across Herts and Beds, said: “Our board has considered options for coping with this huge reduction and agreed that cost savings of £6.2m need to be made in the first year.

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“This is a worrying time for our colleagues and we will provide support and independent guidance for individuals as they make their decisions.”

There will also be major changes in how tenants are dealt with, as a result of the rent reduction and because more customers now communicate online and over the phone than in person.

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Better use will be made of online and telephone services by streamlining the many different contact points tenants have, and some services will be signposted to other agencies.

The spokesman added: “The office-based approach no longer matches the majority of our customers’ needs.

“Most customers simply want us to provide safe, warm, well-maintained homes. A small number need extra support and we will continue to support their housing needs as part of our social purpose.

“We have an even smaller number of customers who choose to behave inappropriately, perhaps acting anti-socially or wilfully not paying rent. This has an adverse reaction on our costs and we want to manage them better.”

The housing association’s chief executive, Gavin Cansfield, said: “Our absolute aim is to provide services in a simple and straightforward way that works for customers, and to continue to provide much-needed new homes that people can afford.”

For more information about the housing association visit www.nhh.org.uk and to contact them if you are a tenant call 01462 704100.

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