The Government announced in July that all social landlords, including councils and housing associations, need to reduce each tenant's rent by 1% each year for the next 4 years.
The council's long term housing strategy for maintenance and building is based on rents going up year on year, therefore it has produced a list of options to help make up the shortfall, and tenants are being invited to have their say on the proposals.
Councillor Peter Bilson, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for City Assets, said: "The whole country is facing a huge demand for housing and Wolverhampton is no different.
"The revenue we get from rents is fundamental to helping meet this demand and maintaining our current housing stock.
"I would urge as many tenants as possible to get involved in the consultation process so together we can find the best way forward."
Public meetings for tenants will take place in Committee Rooms 1 and 2 at the Civic Centre at 2.30pm and 6.30pm on Wednesday (2 December, 2015). Anyone who cannot make the meetings can have their say via the Wolverhampton Homes website, Type=links;Linkid=6664;Title=Rent Review 2016;Target=_blank;.
The deadline for comments is Friday 11 December, 2015, and the council will decide on 13 January, 2016, which options to introduce.
The options include:
- planned maintenance - reviewing the programme of work to ensure the council maintains the condition of the housing stock in line with the decent homes scheme
- management allowances - reviewing the management allowances paid to Wolverhampton Homes and the 4 tenant management organisations that look after the council's housing tenants to see if savings can be made there
- affordable rents - when a property becomes empty, the council can convert the rent from 'social rent' to 'affordable rent'. Affordable rents are currently about £15 more per week than social rents so this means that there is more money available for the future. This change would only occur once a property becomes empty so existing tenants would not see a rent rise
- service charges - central heating is currently charged at £2 per week which covers about 50% of the cost of servicing, repairing and replacing central heating systems. The council is proposing to increase this by £2 per week to cover the full cost of the service, either in one go in 2016 or incrementally over 4 years. Some other charges will also be increased.
- released: Thursday 26 November, 2015