RENTS for council houses in Redditch are set to go up by 2.7 per cent in the next financial year.
Members of the borough’s executive committee heard that the increase is in line with government recommendations and the measure was unanimously backed to go before full council in January.
The measure will see the average rent for 52 weeks rise from £77.02 per week to £79.29 or from £83.44 to £85.89 for those who pay over 48 weeks.
The move comes as a welcome relief to the council which, thanks to a government measure has seen rents decrease by one per cent for the past four years.
“Coun Craig Warhurst (Con, Astwood Bank & Feckenham) who’s portfolio covers housing said: “The four years of reductions has really taken its toll on the houses and so this increase is very much needed and welcome.”
Coun Bill Hartnett (Lab, Church Hill) echoed his words, adding that the government cut, possibly to save it paying out too much housing benefit, had ended up costing Redditch millions.
“It’s caused a massive hole for all social housing providers – we’re talking £130million which is almost more than we paid for the housing stock in the first place.
“It will be very difficult for us to catch up on these rent reductions.”
The news comes as the council brings some 130 homes on to its books, made up of homes built, bought and repaired and brought up to scratch by the authority.