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Council votes for rent hike

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Finance, Housing

Money Money

A local authority's councillors have voted to increase council house rents above the rate of inflation for the new financial year - despite claiming to have tried to keep costs "as low as possible".

During a meeting last night Stevenage Borough Council decided on a 5.1% increase on social housing rents, lower than last year's rise of 6.7% but still 2.9% above inflation.

The increase means that tenants will see their weekly bills go up by £4.53.

Councillor Ann Webb, executive member for Housing, said: "We’re committed to providing affordable, good quality housing for people in Stevenage. This decision was about balancing the need to invest in upgrading our homes, while maintaining a low rental rate to support families in the tough financial times we are experiencing.

"The rise puts rent for the average council property at £96 per week, which compared with an average of £196 per week for privately rented accommodation, still represents excellent value for our tenants.

"We will continue to do all we can to protect tenants both in terms of pricing and our policies. We understand that our properties are not just council houses, they’re much loved homes and that’s why we’re not proposing to introduce fixed term tenancies as part of our new housing tenancy policy."

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