Social Housing rents to Rise in West Midlands

09 February 2012 Categories: News

Three of the biggest housing associations in Shropshire are set to hike their rents by an average 6.2% as of April this year…apparently because of Government guidelines. Wrekin Housing Trust, Severnside Housing and the Bromford Group, who between them own over 18,000 properties around the county, say Government guidelines that were introduced back in 2002 dictate their rental rates, or more specifically their rents ‘are based on inflation from the previous year plus 0.5%’.

The rent hikes will mean an average rental increase of £5.50 per week, which although not severe will leave a lot of low income and benefit families struggling more than they already do. Executive Director at Bromford, Nick Cummins, commented “We are confident that the rents will remain affordable for our customers” while Severnside Housing’s director of finance, Peter Donovan said “We will do everything we can to minimise the impact”.

Obviously if Shropshire’s housing associations are affected by the government guidelines then similar associations around the country will be likewise affected, and it may be that many more rent increases are announced over the next few weeks. According to statistics social housing rents are, on average, still lower than private rents though…even if the gap is now closing.