Council house rent set for 2021/22 after consultation with tenants
The Highland Council’s Housing and Property Committee have approved the preferred option of tenants and will introduce a 2% increase in council house rent for 2021/22. This means that the average weekly council house rent will rise by £1.55 per week, from £77.70 to £79.25. The decision follows an extensive consultation with tenants.
The rent increase will come into effect from April 2021 and will allow current levels of housing service and investment to continue next financial year.
The Committee also agreed that this percentage increase (2%) would be applied to other residential Housing Revenue Account (HRA) rents and charges. It was agreed that there would be no increase in charges for Sheltered Housing Warden services.
Over the last 5 years, Highland Council rents have been increasing at a lower rate than nationally or amongst housing associations operating in Highland. Currently the Council has the 7th lowest average Council house rent out of the 26 Councils that retain housing stock and the lowest of the 5 main Housing Associations operating in the Council area.
Chair of the Housing and Property Committee, Cllr Ben Thompson said: “Firstly I would like to thank all our tenants and the Tenant Forums for taking part in our recent rent consultation which due to Covid we had to do on-line. Despite this new approach we received more feedback than the last time we consulted with our tenants on rent charges. We really appreciate the input from everyone who took part as their engagement has had a direct impact on the rent setting process.
“This year we are very aware of the financial challenges many of our tenants are facing due to the impact of the pandemic. The rent changes agreed today will allow us to continue current levels of housing management service and fund significant ongoing investment and upgrades to our 14,000 Council houses.”
“Our Housing staff will continue to engage closely with tenants and make sure anyone that needs financial help gets the support they need.”
On Monday the Council’s Tenant Participation team started promoting a detailed briefing that they have prepared that gives tenants a wide selection of information on support that is available and where to get help. https://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/22491/coronavirus_-_tenant_briefing