THE COST of council house rent is in line to rise by 2.5 per cent in the next financial year.
A report due to be presented to councillors next week said this increase aligns with the previously approved housing revenue business plan for 2017-22.
All 1,700 tenants were consulted on three different potential rent increases after a one per cent rise was imposed for 2021/22 due to the effects of the Covid pandemic.
The three options were 2.5 per cent in line with inflation in the business plan, three per cent which would generate additional investment income and 4.2 per cent – which reflected the national inflation rate in October when the consultation was drawn up.
Unsurprisingly most tenants preferred the smallest increase – 56 per cent picked that option – while around a third went for three per cent.
Thirty eight percent of tenants said they had concerns about the affordability of their rent, while 37 per cent had some worries.
One quarter of respondents said they had no concern.
The number of tenants indicating concern about their ability to pay their rent was higher than the previous year, and folk are being advised as to what support is available.
The proposed rent rise needs to be approved by elected members before it is set in stone, and their final say will be at a meeting of the full council on 16 February.
Based on a 2.5 per cent uplift the average rent for 2022/23 will be £84.08 per week, which is up from £82.04.
Elsewhere in the proposed housing budget an increase of £239,000 is mooted for repairs and maintenance to reflect increased cost and planned works.
The report to councillors stated: “Brexit, following by the Covid-19 pandemic has created issues with the supply chain and led to increases in building material costs far above inflation.
“It is estimated that an increase of £55k is required to the budget for materials in 2022/23.
“The programme of repair work has been impacted by Covid-19 restrictions and has constantly been under review to try to get back on track. It is expected that restrictions will continue to create delays.”
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 540 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News