Lib Dems look into lowering rent increase

March 10, 2009 12:00 AM

Rochdale's Housing Boss - Councillor Doreen Brophy-LeeCouncillors are hoping to bring the proposed rent increase for tenants down to 3.1% in line with Government proposals.

Last week Housing Minister Margaret Beckett announced that the average guideline rent increase for 2009/10 will be halved from 6.2% to 3.1% for local authority tenants, to encourage councils to reduce the amount tenants would have to pay for the coming year.

The proposals to bring the rent increase will now be put before the Rochdale Cabinet on Thursday 19 March and a special meeting of the Council will be called so that the new agreed increase can be passed.

Councillor Doreen Brophy-Lee said: "I am delighted that the Government has listened to both our concerns and to those of many other councils across the country. Only last week I wrote a letter to the Government expressing my anger at their proposed increase of 6.2%, to which our hands were tied. To increase the rent rise by this amount would have hit the most vulnerable in our communities hard. This is certainly the right decision to have taken during these hard economic times and it shows that our lobbying really has paid off."

The changes to the guideline rent increase means tenants should see a marked drop in their proposed average rent increase for the coming year from around £4 per week to approximately just under £2.

Mrs Beckett said: "We have listened to what councils and their tenants have said to us about the planned rent increases, and we are determined to help tenants get a fair and affordable deal.

"Ultimately, it is for each council to take up this offer of support, but I would expect them to ensure their tenants receive the full benefits."