Rents soar to pay for repairs

19 Oct 00
Nearly half of English councils have increased their rents by more than the government's recommended level, according to a Local Government Association report.

20 October 2000

The Housing Finance Survey 2000 revealed that 146 councils, or 49%, have set aside the guidelines and put up rents for their housing tenants by an average of £1.81 a week. This brings the average rent for a council house up to £47.82. The government had recommended a weekly increase of £1.71 for the current financial year. By breaching this, authorities have missed out on £129m in rent rebate subsidies.

An LGA spokesman said that many authorities had taken this approach because they were forced to choose between cutting back on services or charging higher rents. 'It is mainly due to the desire of councils to try to maintain high levels of service despite inadequate financial support from the government,' he said.

The survey also found that the amount authorities needed to spend on maintaining and repairing their housing stock outstripped the level of support they received, with councils spending on average £1,255 per dwelling but receiving just £1,016 from central coffers.

The amount spent is up by just 2% on last year even though major repairs programmes are needed in many areas.


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