Council will take 'no pleasure' in increasing tenants' rents by 4.85%
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Finance, Local Government
A London council is consulting on recommendations to increase its social housing tenants' rents by 4.85%.
Southwark Council's proposed rise for 2013/14 will see tenants paying an extra £4.46 per week on average.
To mitigate the impact the planned increase will have on its residents' finances, the council is planning to freeze tenants' service charges, garage charges and heating and hot water costs in the same period.
If agreed, the increase will see rents climb to an average of £96.40 a week from 1 April, 2013. The final decision will be made by the cabinet on 29 January.
The council says that the proposed rise is in line with "government guidelines and national formula", and also forms part of its long-term strategy to build and develop a solid financial base for the delivery of social housing provision in Southwark.
Councillor Ian Wingfield, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, said: "It brings no pleasure to be bringing forward these rent proposals for consultation, but we have looked every way we can to try to keep any increase to a minimum. Now that housing is self-financing, the council is keen to address the challenges and risks that this brings.
"So whilst our rent proposals are in line with the Government's thinking regarding rent inflation, which underpins our business plan, we are in a position to offer some comfort to residents with regard to a freeze of other charges for 2013/14.
"In addition we are also consulting on a package of service improvements funded from efficiency savings already realised and we will continue to spend every penny as carefully as if it was our own."