Council house rent rise vote passed in Doncaster - but it's still the 'lowest in South Yorkshire'
Doncaster Council has voted to increase social housing rent and tenants will see the rise in bills from next month.
Tenants in social housing will see a 1.5 per cent increase in their rent from an average of £71.81 to £72.89 – in line with Government policy.
But the rise in bills is smaller than the 2.7 per cent increase passed on to tenants during the financial year of 2020/2021.
The increases will be incorporated on tenants bills from April 5, 2021.
Speaking to councillors, deputy mayor Glyn Jones was keen to stress that social housing rent averages were still the lowest in South Yorkshire despite the increases.
Housing chiefs have decided not to increase other fees and charges for things like garages and external heating systems.
Over the four years from 2016 to 2020, costs have increased by around 10 per cent while rent income reduced by one per cent each year, reports show.
Deputy mayor Jones said: “This rent increase is in line with government policy and the average rents in Doncaster will be the lowest of all South Yorkshire councils at £72.89p per week. All the fees and charges will remain unchanged.
“We are proud of our low rent in Doncaster, which makes good quality homes affordable for over 20,000 households across our borough.
“But we do need to increase rents this year, and future years to enable us to continue to deliver excellent day to day services for tenants and also to continue to collect more rent as the changes to Universal Credit continue to be rolled out and to invest in properties to maintain them.
“We need to invest to ensure that our properties continue to be safer tenants.”
St Leger Homes, who manage the council’s social housing stock, has also carried out a number of works on properties following the Grenfell fire disaster back in 2017.
These include improvements and enhanced safety in the high-rise properties and other homes at greater risk from any incident of fire.
The Grenfell Inquiry has instigated a number of new national safety initiatives, and work is already ongoing to prepare for the emerging new legislation.
These will see new responsibilities placed on landlords and building owners, including the introduction of an ‘accountable person’ for each council.