Tories' 15% Rent Robbery

February 2, 2011 10:26 AM

Vicky Davies

Shock Council rent hikes of up to 15% agreed by the Tories at Brentwood council's Environment meeting on 1st February will inevitably force many more families to become reliant on housing benefits.

Tenants in two bed houses will pay another 9.3% ,£7.02 per week, 3 bedroom houses a 10.3% rise £8.67 a week and a massive 15% rise for 4 bed houses taking up by nearly £15 per week. Lib Dem Cllr Vicky Davies, representing Pilgrims Hatch, strongly opposed the motion that will penalise all council tenants with massive rent rises at the same time high fuel prices at the pumps and VAT increases are making the cost of living soar.

It is inevitable that many families will struggle to cope to pay the shockingly high rent bills.

Cllr Davies said:

"With a national average rent rise of 6.8% why are Brentwood residents being treated so badly?

"I appreciate that the governments housing subsidy rules makes balancing the housing budget extremely challenging and rent rises country wide were inevitable. However the Tory determination to speed up the process to dovetail council rents with those of the housing associations has again increased rent bills making Brentwood's rent rises amongst the highest in the country.

"The council had the option to put rent convergence with registered social landlords on hold during this year of financial austerity but they have chosen to move speedily forward to achieve parity with the higher housing association rents by 2016."

"We are suffering the worst economic situation this country had experienced since the 1930s and we all expect to experience increased costs of living, however the massive increase in the councils rent rises this year with the threat of further of increases next year will bring financial hardship and misery to many families . Surely the increase in the housing benefits that will have resulted from more tenants being sucked into the poverty trap unable to meet the increases in their rent will prove counterproductive to the housing budget overall?"