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SALFORD SOCIAL HOUSING RENT HIKE BY ALMOST £20 PER MONTH
 

Star date: 22nd January 2014

SALIX RENTS TO RISE BY 5.13%

Salix Homes rent and service charges are to rise by up to almost £20 a month from April, a Salford Council report reveals.

Social housing rents are to rise by £3.64 a week, while service charges are to rise by up to 83p per week, meaning tenants will have to find an extra £232 per year. This comes on top of the Bedroom Tax and cuts to Council Tax benefits. Meanwhile, the Council reckons it's losing £1million a year in housing rent arrears and bad debts due to the ConDem Government's `welfare reforms'.

Full details here…


Salix Homes Defend Council Housing
click image to enlarge

For the third consecutive year, Salford Council is set to increase social housing rents way above inflation. In 2012-13 rents rose by 7.62%. In 2013-14 they rose by 4.55%. Now, for 2014-15 they are set to rise by a further 5.13%, or by £3.64 per week.

Service charges are also set to rise by 83p a week (4.43%) in high rise flats and 13p per week (2.31%) in low rise properties, meaning residents in high rise blocks will pay an extra £19.37 a month altogether, or almost £20.

It's all part of the continuing `rent convergence' policy brought in by the previous government to bring all social housing rents in line. According to the Salford Council report, Salford City Mayor, Ian Stewart could put a cap on the rent increase of 5% - but he is unlikely to do this as "the impact would be a loss in rental income of £5.8m (including inflation) over the 30 year HRA business plan".

This latter statement is very strange because Salford Council is planning to privatise its social housing in 2015 by transferring its stock to Salix Homes, with a ballot to take place amongst residents later this year – although a campaign called Defend Council Housing has been launched to oppose the move.

The hike in rent and service charges comes on top of Bedroom Tax misery and a further cut in Council Tax benefits agreed by Salford Council last week, meaning that some of the very poorest people in the city will have to pay 12.5% of their Council Tax, rather than the current 8.5%.

The total affect is that people just cannot afford to pay all these costs, with Salford Council acknowledging this by setting aside £1million as "a contribution to the bad debt provision…due to welfare reform changes".

Meanwhile, hard up social housing tenants will be pleased to know, we're sure, that, just when they need it most, the Council is also proposing to make huge cuts to its Welfare Rights and Debt Advice Team (more on this to follow). And that an extra £233,000 was spent on legal and financial consultants working on the Pendleton Together PFI scheme, which is to take over lots of currently owned Council housing, with consultancy costs rising from an original £437,000 to £770,000…And that, according to the latest Salix accounts, its Chief Executive got a £4,000 pay increase, taking his salary to £104,000...

RisingRentsLoweringStandards wrote
at 12:57:55 PM on Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Once these new rent charges come in Salux will cost MORE than most similar rivate properties. One course of action would of course be to get the rent officer in before the new charges. As long as he or she is not biased they will have no chouce but to keep the rent as it is or even lower it as similar private properties in the area are cheaper and councils must reflect that and charge less. I suggest all those who will be affected contact the the relevant people and get the rent to stay the same or even lowered.
 
ken wrote
at 9:59:58 AM on Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Greedy , avaricious scum .
 
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