​​​​​​​Council tenants invited to give feedback on proposed rent increase

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Take part in on-line survey here

The Highland Council’s Housing Team are contacting council tenants as part of a large scale consultation exercise on proposed changes to rent for 2018/19.

This year the council is asking tenants and resident groups to select their preferred option for 2018/19 – either a 0% rent increase or a 0.5% increase. The 0.5% increase will generate an extra £246 000 of income which would be used for providing services to tenants.

Last year the Highland Council’s 1% increase was the 6th lowest in Scotland. 

The rent collected goes into an account called the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and this money is only used for services which benefit tenants such as repairs to houses. It does not pay for roads, street lights, refuse collection etc. In 2017-2018 the council spent £8,703,940 on improvements to council houses. 

Letters and leaflets providing full information on the options are being distributed and tenants are invited to take part on an on-line survey by visiting https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9JLCS26

The consultation, which is launched this week, runs until 5 January 2018

A series of public drop-in public sessions in Brora, Nairn, Dingwall, Aviemore and Inverness have been arranged to give tenants the chance to come along and chat face-to-face with housing officers on any rent issues they may have, to discuss the proposed rent increase, what the money is used for and any concerns about the affordability of rents etc.

Details of these sessions are shown here:

Area

Venue

Date

Time slots

Sutherland/Caithness

Royal Marine Hotel, Brora

06 December 2017

14:00pm - 16:00pm & 17:00pm - 19:00pm

Nairn

Nairn Community & Arts Centre

14 December 2017

13:00pm -15:00pm & 16:30pm - 18:30pm

Ross-shire

Dingwall Community Centre

18 December 2017

13:00pm - 15:00pm & 16:00pm - 18:00pm

Badenoch & Strathspey

Aviemore Library

19 December 2017

14:00pm - 16:00pm & 17:00pm - 19:00pm

Inverness

Merkinch Community Centre, Inverness

20 December 2017

14:00pm - 16:00pm & 17:00pm - 19:00pm

 

The feedback received will be used to prepare a report for special budget meeting of the full council in February 2018.  At this meeting, councillors will consider the report and agree the level of rent and service charge change for council tenants for the year 2018/19. 

Chair of The Council’s People Committee, Cllr Alisdair Christie is encouraging tenants to take part in the consultation.  He said: “We are very conscious that in 2018-19 our tenants will continue to face much financial uncertainty due to rising prices, low wages, changes to welfare benefits and the unknown impacts of leaving the European Union (Brexit).So it is really important we get feedback on the rent increase proposals from as many people as possible.

He added: “No-one wants to pay more for the services they receive, but it is vital we have enough income to meet the cost of delivering good quality accommodation and housing services. By being efficient, we have managed to keep rent increases as low as we can over the past few years– lower than the average across other local authorities in Scotland.”

“This consultation is an ideal chance for tenants to get more involved in the decisions affecting them and have more of a say on how their rent is spent and managed so I hope as many people as possible take part and let us know their views.”

Tenants taking part in the questionnaire could be in with a chance of winning a £50 high street voucher.

If tenants wants to take part in the on-line survey but do not have internet access, they can use a computer in either their local Service Point or local library.

Anyone with any questions about the consultation is asked to get in touch with the council by telephoning 01349 886602 and asking for their housing officer or Tenant Participation Officer.

 

 

5 Dec 2017
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