Leicester West CLP calls for rent freeze

Leicester West CLP has passed a resolution calling for a rent freeze. Two branches sent the resolution in. The government has now set the maximum social housing rent increase at 7%. Council or housing association landlords cannot set the rent increase above 7% but they have discretion to set it lower. Given the fact that even 7% is 3.1% below September’s inflation figure not many landlords are likely to set the increase below 5%. Swindon’s Tory council is proposing 5%.

As the Leicester West resolution says “such a freeze must be paid for by central government, as spending on our housing stock should not be allowed to suffer even further”. Council housing revenue accounts in particular are under-funded and inflation is eating further into their stretched resources.

Resolution

“This CLP believes that the next rise in council rents must not follow the formula for last April’s (i.e. CPI+1%), as this would inflict hardship on many tenants. Even the government has had to concede this, and is now consulting with local authorities on whether rents should go up possibly by 7%. We are also concerned that the government suggests any council property unlet on the day of the next rise should still have its rent increased by CPI+1%.

Given price inflation generally, eg food and energy bills, we should insist on a rent freeze, just as Labour has called for in energy prices. However, such a freeze must be paid for by central government, as spending on our housing stock should not be allowed to suffer even further.”

There is a coalition of organisations calling for a rent freeze which we will report on separately.

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