COUNCIL tenants in Thurrock will have a 2.2 per cent rise in rents from April – the lowest the council is allowed to levy.
Housing portfolio holder Cllr Lynn Worrall made the announcement at Wednesday (25 February) evening’s meeting of the council.
She said: “We are recommending the lowest rent increase for years because we are now free of government demands to raise them.
“However we still have to raise rents to take inflation into account, so the recommendation is for the lowest rise we are allowed to do – 2.2 per cent.
“This takes the average rent for a council property to Â£87.26, still considerably cheaper than private rents and is in line with our promise last year only to increase by the lowest possible amount.
“This is not to say there aren’t pressures, there are, adding up to over half a million pounds, but they are also inflationary, in the main.”
Cllr Worrall explained that efficiencies combined with the rent rise meant there was an overall budget increase of just a quarter million – Â£276,000.
She said: “Because of the small rent increase we can invest an extra Â£710,000 in the stock for planned maintenance, prioritising damp and mould works as well as increasing the fencing programme.
“Good news all round.”