A scheme to help boost the credit rating of council tenants who pay their rent on time has been given the green light.
A motion was put forward at a full council meeting this week, calling on Flintshire Council to become part of the Rental Exchange initiative.
It is being used by an increasing number of social landlords in the UK to support people in improving their credit score.
Unlike mortgage payments, people who rent council houses do not have their payments recognised on their credit reference report at present.
However, that now looks set to change in the county after proposals put forward by Cllr Andy Dunbobbin were approved.
The Labour representative for Connah’s Quay Golftyn said he hoped it would improve the social inequalities which currently exist.
He said: “Poverty among renters has roughly doubled in the last decade, leaving thousands of people trapped in insecure, expensive housing.
“Credit ratings really matter when our residents try to access loans or other sources of financial support such as mortgages, because without a good record they face more expensive borrowing costs or worse still, are forced to rely upon unscrupulous lenders.
“It has come to my attention that council tenants who pay rent on time do not to have their payments recognised on their credit reference report.
“There is an inequality here because those who have a mortgaged property and make that payment on time, see it reflected on their credit file.
This is simply not fair.
“By participating in the service and working with credit reference agencies, Flintshire County Council are offering tenants the opportunity to build a positive credit history.
“I believe it also had major benefits for things like applying for goods and services, including responsible and affordable financial services, online shopping or even helping a tenant who wants to apply for a mortgage as part of a transition into buying their own home.”
Cllr Dunbobbin’s motions received the unanimous backing of councillors at the meeting.
After it was approved, the authority’s chief executive Colin Everett said officers welcome the introduction of the initiative.
He said work would be carried out and a report brought back to a future meeting on how it will be taken forward.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter.