District Council proposes to set Council Housing rents below national capPosted on: Tuesday, January 10, 2023
With a focus on supporting tenants with the rising cost of living, Newark and Sherwood District Council is recommending setting its Council Housing rent at 2% below the national cap set by central government and 5.2% below the latest inflation levels.
With a 5% increase being considered at a Cabinet meeting on 17 January 2023, this would equate to, on average, a weekly rent increase of £4.22.
Every year, local housing authorities are required by law to set their rent charges at an appropriate level for tenants while still ensuring they can maintain all homes, build new houses and provide support services such as important repair work.
Councillor Tim Wendels, Portfolio Holder for Homes and Health at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “This is a difficult decision as we want to keep rent affordable for our Council Housing tenants but we also need to balance this against inflation and our rising costs for delivering a high quality housing service.
“I am pleased that our proposals are well below the level of inflation and the national cap set by central government. This demonstrates our recognition of how tough times currently are for our tenants.
“We have all noticed the rising prices for everyday items such as groceries and fuel, and this is no different in the building and housing sector. We are proposing to keep rent as low as possible to ensure we can continue to build new homes to address the national shortage and deliver everyday services such as boiler repairs for our tenants.
“The rent level being proposed will also allow us to invest in keeping our houses well insulated and energy efficient for our tenants, thus reducing their overall costs for maintaining their homes.”
The District Council is also recommending to Cabinet that it creates a budget of £300,000 to further support its tenants through a Tenant Welfare Fund. If approved, the Tenant Welfare Fund would be in addition to a wide range of support the District Council already provides to its tenants to help them meet their housing costs.
Social housing is still a very affordable option for those who need it in the district. In 2021/22 the average cost of a private rented three bed house in Newark and Sherwood was £160.15 per week, while the cost of a District Council rented three bed house was £87.56. If the increase is approved, this would bring the average cost of the same bed house to £91.94 per week.
The District Council has put a host of information onto a dedicated hub on its website outlining ways that it can offer further support to residents. The hub also provides details of several partners, organisations and community groups who can offer a wide range of additional support and services. Residents can view this website hub at www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/heretohelp.