Millions to be spent improving Melton council homes but rents will rise

Melton Council is set to spend £4million on improving new and existing homes but tenants will face an increase in rents to help pay for it.

By Nick Rennie
Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 4:10 pm
Melton Borough Council news EMN-220222-160645001
Melton Borough Council news EMN-220222-160645001

Councillors will be asked to release the investment from the Housing Revenue Account budget at a meeting on Thursday.

The money will be spent on existing council properties updating kitchens and bathrooms, replacing windows and doors, fitting aids and adaptations where needed to make homes more accessible and a significant investment is planned in works to continue to ensure that housing stock is as safe as possible.

Plans are in place for average rents for Melton Council tenants to increase from £77.02 to £80.24, an average increase of £3.22 per week.

The 4.1 per cent rise is in line with government guidance, the authority points out, and is in response to inflationary pressure.

It is hoped the increase will enable the council to deliver its commitments as a landlord while remaining resilient to the rising costs in the sector.

Councillor Ronan Browne, portfolio holder for council homes and landlord services, said: “Delivering outstanding council homes and landlord services is one of our top priorities at Melton Borough Council.

“The proposed rent increase is necessary to enable us to deliver our landlord services, allowing us to maintain and improve tenants’ homes.

“We have listened to tenants’ concerns about increased costs of living and value the views and feedback received.

“We will not increase the Intensive Housing Management charge this year, we will carry out a full review of this service and consult upon future service charges.

“In addition, we will develop a package of proactive support and advice for all tenants including in relation to rising energy costs.”

The council has carried out a survey of the condition of its housing stock and is currently developing its long-term housing business plan, which will be considered for approval in April 2022.

The business plan will reflect the continued focus on the council’s responsibilities as a landlord for health and safety, whilst also setting out the prioritisation and investment in homes over the next 30 years.

Tenants will be given 28 days notice of the rent increase coming into force.