Council house tenants in Sheffield face rent rise from April

Sheffield Town HallSheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall
Council house tenants in Sheffield are set to see their rents rise as the council admits massive shortages for affordable housing.

The council’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan report sets out how the estimated £181m income, predominantly from tenant rents, will be spent on delivering repairs, capital improvements and tenant services to more than 38,000 council homes across the city during the next financial year.

It also includes a longer-term forecast looking forward over the next five years.

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In the report, the council admitted that it was facing – like many other local authorities across the country – increasing financial pressures.

Projections indicate that significant savings of around £14.2m are required in 2024/25.

Another type of pressure is the lack of affordable homes in the city.

Sheffield has a significant shortage of affordable housing to meet the unprecedented demand for social housing. It’s a shortage of over 902 homes per year based on the council’s last housing market assessment.

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Sustained high inflation rates and the cost of living crisis also put hardship on council tenants but still, an increase in some of the rents is proposed.

The report added that the usual Rent Standard – government rules on social housing rent – would apply in 2024/25.

The rate of the consumer price index, which is the rate at which the price of goods and services rise, was 6.7 per cent in 2023 which means that the maximum rent increase that the council can make for 2024/25 is 7.7 per cent.

At next week’s (January 24) Strategy and Resource Policy Committee meeting, officers will urge members to accept the following proposal:

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Rents for council dwellings are increased by 7.7 per cent from April 2024 in line with the Regulator of Social Housing’s Rent Standard.

Garage rents for garage plots and sites are increased by 7.7 per cent from April 2024.

The sheltered housing charge is increased by 6.7 per cent from April 2024.

The burglar alarm charge is increased by 6.7 per cent from April 2024.

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The furnished accommodation charge is increased by 6.7 per cent from April 2024.

However, there would be no increase to the community heating charge.

The delivery of a balanced HRA budget is dependent on setting a 7.7 per cent rent increase for council tenants, the report added.

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