Southwark Council to keep rent 'as low as possible'
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government
Southwark Council has called for "every effort" to be made to help those who struggle just to afford a roof over their head.
Councillor Richard Livingstone, cabinet member for housing, said: "London is a tough place to find affordable housing right now, but we’re leading the way in showing that it can be done. We can and will supply genuinely affordable homes and we can take decisions to keep rent as low as possible for those most in need in our council homes."
Almost half of Southwark’s households earn less than £15,000.
Southwark Council is keeping council rents below £100 per week on average. However, it said a "fine balance" must be sought in ensuring that rent is kept low but that enough income is generated into the housing revenue account (HRA) to safeguard the cost of frontline council services.
Earlier this year, the council considered the budget implications arising from a rent increase lower than the government's rent formula of 5.4% and decided to halve the increase to 2.7%. The council added it has, over the past four years, made efficiency savings of £27.5m in its HRA 2which enables the budget to absorb the impact of the lower rent increase without affecting service delivery".
The council has also said future social rent increases will be kept at Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 1% over the next four years with a further commitment not to increase tenants’ service charges.
Southwark Council is ranked eleventh cheapest rent in London’s 33 boroughs for social rent.