Tenants hit by seven per cent hike in rents in Redditch council houses - The Redditch Standard

Tenants hit by seven per cent hike in rents in Redditch council houses

Redditch Editorial 1st Feb, 2024 Updated: 2nd Feb, 2024   0

REDDITCH Borough council has announced it was increasing council house rent by seven per cent.

At a full council meeting on Monday, councillors voted to increase the rent just below the top end of Government recommendations, claiming the cash raised would be spent reinvesting back into the borough’s council houses.

Redditch Borough Council’s portfolio holder for housing Coun Craig Warhurst, said: “Most councils in the UK have put their rent up by 7.5 per cent, and we’ve managed to mitigate it to seven per cent.

“It is being invested back into the housing stock – we’re updating the bathrooms and boilers in a lot of the properties.

“Ultimately however, the rent is where the money for social housing comes from, to pay for the mortgages from building the homes in the first place, for repairs and maintenance, management of safety and compliance, and so on.

“We are still well below the rent in the private sector and have had to adjust our budget for the rise in salaries at the council and the cost-of-living crisis.”




Coun Luke Court, Redditch Borough Council’s portfolio holder for finance, said because 78 per cent of tenants were on either Universal Credit or housing benefit, they would receive an increase in their payments of 6.7 per cent – as set out in the Chancellor’s Statement.

“Therefore the actual cost of the increase to those where these payments cover all their rent will be only 0.3 per cent, and for the cost to those where the payments cover part of their rent, the rise will be much lower than seven per cent.


“This point was made in the chamber and in the meetings papers.”

Redditch Labour group leader Coun Joe Baker said: “I’m proud of my group which will continue to talk about issues that matter.

“At this council meeting we voted against a 7 per cent rent rise for council tenants, and spoke out against extortionate increases in charges for Dial a Ride.

“We are on the side of Redditch residents and will always listen to you.

“In May I hope Redditch will vote Labour so we can put in place our plans for a Fresh Start at Redditch Council.”

Coun Sid Khan added: “I couldn’t justify the seven per cent rent increase last year and the proposed seven per cent increase this year while residents continue to live in sub standard properties with damp and mould.

“Remember this – each Labour councillor voted against the rise whilst every single Conservative Councillor voted for it.

“Guess what – it’s carried because there’s more of them than us. I’m truly sorry to everyone.”

 

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