Chartered Institute of Housing says NIHE rent increases will improve the quality of social homes
CIH Northern Ireland has said that the incoming modest rise in Housing Executive rents is a crucial move that will help improve the quality of social homes.
The executive announced yesterday that rents will increase by 2.75 per cent this April. This means an average weekly increase of £1.79 per household.
The increase comes after NIHE announced that it could have to stop spending money on maintaining as much as half its housing stock unless it can generate enough income.
Justin Cartwright, CIH director for Northern Ireland said:
“Rent setting is a delicate balancing act between keeping housing costs affordable and ensuring there is enough money to maintain homes to a good standard. Over the past few years Housing Executive rents have been kept artificially low to help keep rents affordable. While this has helped low income families to maintain a home, it has resulted in housing stock falling below the standard of a decent home which tenants deserve.
“We have been clear that with 38,000 households on the social housing waiting list, and 24,000 of those households living in housing stress, if Northern Ireland’s largest landlord cuts it maintenance spending, this will have a desperate impact on those waiting for a social home.
“This modest increase in rents will allow the Housing Executive to maintain its stock, deliver higher standards of accommodation and bring empty properties back into use, meaning less waiting for those in need.
“We are advising tenants who are having difficulty paying their rent to contact their local Housing Executive office for advice.”