Council to raise rents by almost 7 per cent
Westminster Council has announced a rent rise of 6.96 per cent at a time when it accepted a government hand out of £1.24 million to freeze council tax, it has been claimed.
Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of Westminster Labour group, said the move would save 14,300 residents living in homes worth over £1 million an average of £19 a week in council tax, while 12,000 council tenants would be £379 a year worse off through rent rises.
Mr Dimoldenberg said: ‘The Conservatives say that “we’re all in this together”, but nothing could be further from the truth.
‘Westminster’s poorest residents are paying the price for the government’s mismanagement of the economy, while those with the deepest pockets are getting government help. This is totally unfair and will deepen the growing divide between the rich and poor within Westminster.’
Jonathan Glanz, Westminster’s member for housing, said: ‘We recognise that these are hard times that many households are facing, so we have kept rents well below the government’s national guidelines for increases.
‘We are providing one of the lowest rent increases in London, significantly less than other neighbouring boroughs such as Camden and Islington.
‘Rental income enables us to make improvements to social housing and this increase reflects the cost of maintaining homes across the city to the highest standards.
‘If we do not follow the rent restructuring guidelines there will be a net loss of income that will impact on the level of service provided to our tenants and on the number of affordable homes available in the city.’