Council to invest increased rental income back into the community

26 February 2020

The Council has agreed to apply a small rental increase for its social housing stock in line with new government guidelines. 

The income raised will fund the maintenance and upgrade of the borough’s council owned social and affordable housing stock. This will include improvements to energy efficiency to reduce household bills and tackle the climate emergency.

In the last 2 years, working in partnership with our housing management provider ForHousing, the Council has:
  • Built circa. 300 new council homes
  • Fitted 205 kitchens
  • Fitted 302 bathrooms
  • Completed sprinkler installation in its high-rise blocks 
  • Funded energy efficiency measures in our housing stock
  • Reduced turn-around time for vacant properties
  • Introduced a wellbeing service to support some of our most vulnerable tenants
  • Established a social prescribing project 
The Council has a £159 million investment plan for social housing over the next 30, which was adopted by Cabinet in October 2019. Current redevelopment includes the Sutton Way regeneration project, and the fitting of solar PV panels and external wall insulation to social housing.

Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Growth, said: “In the past eight years a total of £60.2 million has been spent on improving Council housing. This has resulted in over 99.8% of the housing stock now meeting the decent homes standard.

“The proposed rent increase will help provide further investment in the housing stock, particularly to reduce energy bills, tackle fuel poverty, lower carbon footprints and provide warm homes. There will also be targeted investment to create new jobs and apprenticeship opportunities, and funding for projects which improve the lives of tenants and deliver on our pledge to build stronger local communities.”
 
The weekly rents of social housing tenants will increase by 1% plus CPI (a total of 2.7%) from April this year. Around 60% of Council tenants receive a welfare benefit that helps to covers their housing costs and any increase in rents will mean the benefit received will increase to cover the additional cost.

ForHousing is on hand to provide support to any tenant who may have difficulty paying their rent, have questions on their welfare benefits or need help managing money or debt. 

You can contact them via their website live chat, email on hello@forhousing.co.uk, or call 0300 123 5522 to speak to a member of staff. Alternatively, the Civic Way office in Ellesmere Port is open on weekdays between the hours of 8:30am and 5pm (4:30pm on Fridays). 
 

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