Fears Bournemouth council tenants could suffer “severe hardship” when rents rise

Fears Bournemouth council tenants could suffer “severe hardship” when rents rise

Fears Bournemouth council tenants could suffer “severe hardship” when rents rise

First published in News by

SOME council tenants will face “severe hardship” when their rents go up by more than inflation, it has been claimed.

But Bournemouth council has said its rises are far lower than those in the private sector, where rents have increased by 35 per cent in the past five years.

A policy introduced by the previous Labour government aims to bring council rents closer to social housing rents in the private sector.

A target rent has been worked out for each home and the council is moving towards that, with rises of up to £10 a week.

The average rise for Bournemouth council tenants this year will be 5.3 per cent.

Labour councillor Beryl Baxter asked the council to recognise “the severe hardship that this increase will bring upon many of our tenants”.

The rent increase on a one-bedroom flat in Turbary Park would be £4.79 a week – a 7.2 per cent increase, well above inflation, she said.

“If we look at a three-bedroom house which is to cost £10 per week more, that’s an increase of 10.4 per cent,” she told the full council.

Cllr Baxter said there was due to be a £1.69million surplus in the council’s housing revenue account.

“Whilst this is earmarked for building new properties, this could be reduced to help vulnerable people,” she added.

The council’s Conservative leader, Cllr John Beesley, said some rents would have increased by as much as £17 per week if the council had not proposed a £10 cap.

He said the changes affected 133 tenants out of 5,107 and 67 of them were on housing benefit. More would be able to claim housing benefit when their rent rose.

The council had a hardship fund but the take-up had amounted to £25,000 of an available total of £250,000.

He added: “In the private sector where there are 22,000 household tenancies, rents have escalated by 35 per cent over the past five years and if there is real hardship it is most likely to be amongst those tenants.”

A two-bedroom home cost £83.89 a week under the council and an average of £193.84 in the private sector, he said.

Comments (4)

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4:19pm Fri 28 Feb 14

apm1954 says...

why are the council in the business of letting property anyway,about time they paid the full amount, cant understand why they are cheaper lots of poorer people out there have to pay full amount. if they dont like the rise move on.
why are the council in the business of letting property anyway,about time they paid the full amount, cant understand why they are cheaper lots of poorer people out there have to pay full amount. if they dont like the rise move on. apm1954
  • Score: 4

4:25pm Fri 28 Feb 14

wool525 says...

well if they cut down on there sky tv, mobile phones,drinking and fags I reckon they should just be able to manage
well if they cut down on there sky tv, mobile phones,drinking and fags I reckon they should just be able to manage wool525
  • Score: 6

4:40pm Fri 28 Feb 14

ShuttleX says...

"The council had a hardship fund but the take-up had amounted to £25,000 of an available total of £250,000"

The reason for that is simple. It is easier to get blood out of a stone then get any help from the hardship fund. Even those who deal with the applications think the criteria is to strict, as Chris Dale made a point of telling Mr Beesley. As over £500,000 was allocated to the DHP fund in April last year, I wonder where half of it went? On average the Council give, when they do help people, just under £400, then you have to fill in the 9 page application form again, and go cap in hand to the Council. They treat all applicants as scroungers and delay the payments for as long as they can in the hope that people give up, and quite a few do.
.
"The council had a hardship fund but the take-up had amounted to £25,000 of an available total of £250,000" The reason for that is simple. It is easier to get blood out of a stone then get any help from the hardship fund. Even those who deal with the applications think the criteria is to strict, as Chris Dale made a point of telling Mr Beesley. As over £500,000 was allocated to the DHP fund in April last year, I wonder where half of it went? On average the Council give, when they do help people, just under £400, then you have to fill in the 9 page application form again, and go cap in hand to the Council. They treat all applicants as scroungers and delay the payments for as long as they can in the hope that people give up, and quite a few do. . ShuttleX
  • Score: -1

9:53pm Fri 28 Feb 14

BmthNewshound says...

Someone is having to fill the hole in Beesley's budget and I guess he thinks its less risky in terms of maintaining his iron grip on the Council if he targets those less likely to vote Tory.
.
Although I think Council rents should increase but such high increases in a single year is simply callous. He's frozen council tax for the wealthy residents of Talbot Woods but expects people who are likely to be on low incomes are being expected to find another £520 a year.
Someone is having to fill the hole in Beesley's budget and I guess he thinks its less risky in terms of maintaining his iron grip on the Council if he targets those less likely to vote Tory. . Although I think Council rents should increase but such high increases in a single year is simply callous. He's frozen council tax for the wealthy residents of Talbot Woods but expects people who are likely to be on low incomes are being expected to find another £520 a year. BmthNewshound
  • Score: -2

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