News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Rent increase proposed for council tenants in Flintshire

Council house tenants in Flintshire look set to have their rent increased as the new financial year approaches.

Senior councillors will meet next week to discuss plans to up rates by 1.7 per cent for 2020/21 to bring them in line with inflation.

It would lift the average rent for the 7,000 plus council-owned properties in the county to over £96 per week based on Welsh Government policy.

There would also be an additional rise of £2 a week for residents who currently pay less than the authority’s target rent figure.

Officials said the money would be reinvested in meeting housing standards set by ministers in Cardiff, as well as being spent on new building projects.

In a report, Rachael Corbelli, the council’s finance manager for housing and commercial services, said: “The new rent policy asks for affordability for all tenants to be taken into account when setting rents though it is also important for the council to maximise rental income in order to invest in new homes and regenerate existing stock.

“With this in mind, it is recommended to utilise the flexibility given in the rent policy around setting the level of rents for individual tenants, to bring affordability into line for all tenants.

“The recommended option would be to apply an overall uplift of 1.7 per cent to all tenants and, in addition, apply the transitional uplift of £2 to tenants who are currently under target rent.

“This ensures that no individual tenant will pay more than the maximum allowed under the policy but moves towards readdressing the disparity between those rents under and those at target rent and seeks to make rent charges to all tenants more equitable.

“The effect of this will be a lower inflationary increase for tenants who are already paying target rent and should help offset the additional impact of any service charge increases.”
The total uplift for residents currently paying under target rent would amount to approximately 2.7 per cent.

The changes will be considered by members of the ruling Labour administration on Tuesday as part of a review of the council’s ring-fenced Housing Revenue Account.

Around £19.3m has been built into the budget to cover housing improvements, while £11.7m would be spent on creating 177 new properties.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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