Your Rent for 2016-17
The rent for 2016/17 was decided on at the Ordinary Council meeting on 2nd March 2016.
Previous to this, rent setting for this year was also discussed at Environment and Housing Management Committee on 9th December 2015 and Policy, Finance and Resources Committee on 16th February. There has also been consultation with Tenant Talkback regarding the proposed changes.
As the result of a change in the Government’s summer budget, in line with the new Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015/2016, it was announced that rents within the social housing sector will be reduced by 1% every year for the next four years.
This is good news for general needs housing tenants as it means lower rent payments for the next four years; however this means that there will now be increased pressure on the housing service to make savings elsewhere across the department, as a result of the reduced income. If you pay a service charge, these have also been frozen for the coming year.
It was then later announced that supported housing would be exempt from this rent reduction for a year. This exemption will give the Government time to study its findings from its review into the cost of providing supported housing. The reason behind the exemption is due to the costs of providing supported housing. They are higher than those of general needs housing, and providers rely on housing benefit funding for services such as wardens and the upkeep of supported housing facilities.
As a result of this news and after reviewing our options and looking at our financial situation, we have taken the decision to freeze rents for supported housing for the next year, in order to demonstrate a fair approach to all of our tenants and not penalise those in supported housing. Therefore all supported housing rents will not change for the next year and your charges will remain at the same amount.
Due to our reduced income, over the next 12 months we will be carrying out a stock condition survey on all of our properties. The information from this survey will enable us to plan and prioritise for future investment into our housing stock, so that we can prepare effectively for the future. This will also provide an opportunity to review the current service charges.
You should now have received your individual letters advising of these changes.
The new rent year for 2016-17 will commence on 4th April 2016 and will finish on 31st March 2017.
If you have any difficulties paying your rent, please contact the Estates Management Team on 01277 312 500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.