Rent hike of 2.2 per cent facing Sheffield council tenants

Cllr Harry Harpham cabinet member for homes and regeneration
Cllr Harry Harpham cabinet member for homes and regeneration
0
Have your say

Thousands of council tenants will face a rent rise of 2.2 per cent from April in another blow for struggling residents.

Thousands of council tenants will face a rent rise of 2.2 per cent from April in another blow for struggling residents.

Sheffield Council insists the rise is the second lowest in 15 years and is in line with Government guidance.

Last year’s rise was almost triple at 6.2 per cent.

But this year’s is still double the current rate of inflation and a report before the council cabinet next Wednesday said it will ‘affect many’ of its 47,000 tenants. The average increase is the equivalent of £1.64 a week - £82.28 a year.

Mick Daniels, of Brushes Tenants and Residents Association in Firth Park, said: “Any increase is bad, it’s even worse when you are not getting the services that you pay for.

“People can’t get through to anyone - I know on gas servicing residents can’t get through and then they are getting nasty letters.

“This rise is going to hit people who are already struggling, especially people who are already paying the bedroom tax and using food banks.”

Ann Bentley, of Lower Wincobank TARA, added: “It’s appalling. These tenants now are struggling anyway, including myself.”

And Lynn Harrison, of Scraithwood TARA in Parson Cross, added: “When one thing goes up the others start going up and it is never ending.

“When will people say enough is enough?”

The cabinet report says garage rents, community heating and burglar alarm charges will be frozen. The smallest rent increase in Sheffield was in 2010-11, when it was 2.1 per cent.

In Barnsley tenants are also facing a 2.2 per cent rise.

Coun Harry Harpham, Sheffield cabinet member for homes, said: “Rent increases take place annually and this year’s is the second lowest in the last 15 years.

“I realise budgets are tight and many tenants are struggling with increased living costs. That’s why we are keeping increases as low as possible. We follow Government guidance that specifies rent increases are needed in council housing.”