Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Are Thurrock Council’s housebuilding plans thrown into doubt by government changes.

THE effect of government plans to ensure council home rents fall by one per cent a year for four years – unless a household brings in over £30,000 – was discussed by councillors on Tuesday (14 October) evening.

Portfolio holder for housing, Cllr Lynn Worrall was telling cabinet colleagues about the council’s estate regeneration plans and proposals to build more social housing.

She said: “We are reviewing the proposed housing development plan and estate regeneration in the light of the government’s imposed reductions in rent.

“We are currently assessing the wider implications and options available to us. A detailed report will be presented to the cabinet meeting in November.

“Over recent years we have explained how, by having small but annual increases in rent, we could provide new homes and improve the stock of homes we already have.

“All that has been thrown into confusion by the government’s insistence on a one per cent cut in rents on all properties except those where the tenants have a joint income of £30,000 or more.

“This is an overall household income and if a tenant has their children living at home and they are of working age and earning their income will be used in the initial calculations.”

She explained: “For these cases there’s no extra money for the Housing Revenue Account to put towards improving our homes, instead we have to collect rents at the inflated private sector set levels and give the difference to the government.

“Officers are still trying to work out how this affects our overall plans. Will it delay our plans or knock them on the head entirely?”

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