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Rent review to support continued investment into council housing

Published: Tuesday, 10th January 2023

In line with Government guidance, Stoke-on-Trent City Council is considering a proposal to increase rents for all properties by seven percent from April 2023.

Rent review to support continued investment into council housing

An annual review is set to cap rents for over 17,000 council tenants to below-inflation levels.

In line with Government guidance, Stoke-on-Trent City Council is considering a proposal to increase rents for all properties by seven percent from April 2023, resulting in an increase of £5.68 per week (based on 52 weeks). This increase will also be applied to services (grounds maintenance), lock-up garages and garage plots.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet is set to consider proposals to increase rents at a meeting next Tuesday (17 January).

Income raised through social housing rents is ringfenced for the maintenance of council properties. The proposals would mean that in the new financial year, subject to cabinet approval over £26m would be spent on planned improvements, including central heating systems, new kitchens and bathrooms, new external doors, roofing, and structural works, energy efficiency works including cavity wall and loft insulation, together with refurbishment and fire safety works. This is supplemented by day-to-day repairs expenditure of around £25 million.  

Investment planned for the forthcoming financial year will see the provision of approximately 300 new kitchens, 150 bathrooms, 160 roof replacements, and 800 central heating systems.

Councillor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for housing and environment said:

“Our rents are lower than other comparable local authorities, in some cases by up to £20 per week. These proposals are designed to allow us to maintain our housing stock to a high standard for our tenants, invest in new stock to replace homes lost through Right to Buy, and provide housing management and community safety services to support and keep our residents safe.

“We recognise the financial pressures affecting residents and the proposed rent increase is set to as low a level as possible while maintaining services and while inflation nationally is around 11 percent. We are also proposing to continue our Financial Independence Fund to support tenants who may be struggling. This is over and above our discretionary housing payments and Household Support Fund – to support tenants to pay their rent, sustain their tenancies, and ultimately, to prevent homelessness.”

Tenants can find information on the city council’s Financial Independence Fund and support available by emailing: incomeadviceteam@stoke.gov.uk or telephone 01782 231564.