Councillors agree house rent increase at 3%
24th January 2019
The average weekly rent charged by The Highland Council to its 13,411 council house tenants is set to increase by 3% for the coming financial year 2019/20.
The average weekly rent will rise from £73.22 to £75.42 - an increase of £2.20 per week.
The 3% increase will be applied across the region to residential rents, gypsy/traveller site pitches, service charges and garage and garage sites.
In 2019/20, the Council's proposed budget for Council housing repairs and maintenance is £17,811 million (an increase of 5.9% on last year's repairs and maintenance budget).
The rent collected goes into an account called the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and this money is only used for services which benefit Council tenants, such as repairs to houses. It does not pay for roads, street lights; refuse collection or services other than Housing.
Cllr John Finlayson, Chair of the Council’s Care, Learning and Housing Committee said: "This report shows that the Council’s Housing Revenue Account is in a healthy position and this small rise in rents will help to ensure that we are able to increase the amount of money we spend on environmental improvements to our housing estates, which is something we know is a priority for tenants.
"The Council continues to work hard to keep rent increases as low as possible for tenants while continuing to provide a high level of front line services and investment in our housing stock, and we have had rent increase well below the national average for a number of years."
He added: “To maintain a healthy Housing Revenue Account in future we do need to update our financial assumptions and future Account business plan and I am pleased that Members have agreed that a full review of the Housing Revenue Account loan charges and capital planning is carried out which will help to determine future rent policies and capital planning for housing."
Highland Council rents are the second lowest of the 5 main Housing Associations operating in the Council area; and since 2010/11 Highland Council annual rent increases have consistently been among the lowest in Scotland.
Highland Council today announced its biggest ever single investment in roads with an extra £20million capital announced in its budget proposals for the year 2020/21. The budget proposals were announced by Budget Leader Alister MacKinnon at a press conference at Highland Council headquarters.
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Members today approved a modest 3% rent increase for residential rents and service charges following detailed consultation with tenants. The increase will result in a rise in the average weekly council house rent from £75.38 to £77.74 (£2.26), which means that Highland rents are still 8th lowest of the 26 councils which retain housing.
Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer's first annual report highlights successes and challenges.` Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer for Highland Council, Karen Ralston, has enjoyed a successful first year in her role. Members today noted the 2018/19 annual report at the meeting of the Health, Wellbeing and Social Care committee.
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