Council house rents set for an increase

COUNCIL house tenants may end up paying more rent – a move that East Riding of Yorkshire Council says is necessary so they can afford to build more affordable homes in Bridlington.

The council will follow new Government guidelines to charge what will be known as ‘affordable rent’ on new council housing and for some tenants moving into existing council houses.

The affordable rent will bring charges for local authority properties up to a maximum of 80% of open market rent, and can be offered on flexible tenancies which will run for at least two years.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council said charging higher, but still affordable, rents will allow itself and housing associations to raise more money to fund the development of new affordable homes – with much lower levels of Government grant.

Tenants in new council properties earmarked for building between now and 2015, in Bridlington and the rest of the county, will be charged affordable rents.

The authority also say ‘a small proportion’ of their existing homes will be converted to affordable rents when tenants move out and the homes are re-let to new tenants from the council’s waiting list.

However a spokesman for East Riding of Yorkshire Council could not say how many existing properties in Bridlington will fall under the new scheme.

The council has stressed that rents for existing tenants will not be affected.

Coun Symon Fraser, cabinet portfolio holder for housing, environment and planning at East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “We share the concerns that residents will inevitably have about these changes to future rent levels which we have no choice but to follow if we are going to deliver new affordable homes in the East Riding.

“We will do our best to ensure that the impacts are minimised and where we can we will try to reduce fuel bills through the installation of new technologies and eco-improvements, and keep the overall cost of living in the homes to a minimum.”