Why is this increase happening?
Over the last four years Bolton at Home has reduced rents by 1% each year. We did this because central government asked all social housing providers to lower rents during a period of austerity.
From April 2020, the government is allowing social landlords to increase rents in line with its 2020 rent standard. The standard allows rents to increase every 12 months from April 2020 until March 2025 by 1% plus a Consumer Price Index (cost of living) increase of up to 1.7%. The government expects us to follow this specific formula to calculate and set our rents.
What does this mean for me?
This means that from April 2020, your rent will increase by up to 2.7%. This applies to both general needs and sheltered homes.
Bolton at Home’s Board will confirm the level of rent increase in February. Soon after, you’ll receive a letter from us detailing exactly what you’ll pay to rent your home after April 2020.
This rent increase comes after a period of paying less year-on-year for your home. It is also true that social housing tenants in Bolton, especially with Bolton at Home, have historically paid lower rents compared to other parts of Greater Manchester. So the cost to rent your home with us will continue to compare favourably with equivalent properties both locally and regionally.
The rent increase will happen right across the social housing sector. The government has set limits on what rents we can charge until 2025, after which a new government policy on social housing rent setting will be agreed.
Our specialist support housing is exempt from the government’s rent standard due to the support services involved. The Board will agree the rents for these tenancies as it does now.
How can I get support?
We are committed to providing high-quality affordable homes that meet your needs. As a socially-minded community benefit society, we reinvest any surpluses that we make into services that benefit tenants.
We are keen to reduce the impact of any rent increases or service charges on you. For help with rent payments, household bills or debts, we encourage you to phone our Money Advice Team in confidence on 01204 328000.