East Devon is planning to raise rents for new tenants from the end of November, according to a proposal going to the Housing Review Board on 5th November. Rents will be raised to the ‘target/formula rent’ in one go, the average difference being £2.21 per week although obviously in many cases it will be more.
Giving with one hand, taking with the other
The reason for this change is given as: ‘The Government announced in the summer budget that from April 2016, social housing rents will reduce by 1% each year for a period of four years. By moving rents at tenancy changes to formula/target levels for new tenants, some of the loss of rental income will be offset and lessen the severity of the 1%, 4 year rent reduction.’
In other words, what tenants gained on the one hand, EDDC (which is losing income through the reductions) will take back with the other. Tenants will pay to keep services funded.
This is another blow for less well-off people in Seaton and East Devon, many of whom will also suffer from the Government’s cuts to tax credits (which similarly will be forced through for new claimants, whatever compensation is agreed for existing recipients).
Nevertheless, tenants will be reassured that according to EDDC, the ‘equalities impact’ of this proposal will be ‘low’.