Stevenage supported housing tenants will benefit from rent reduction

09 Feb 2016

Stevenage Borough Council is reassuring its supported housing tenants that they will benefit from the 1% rent reduction along with other tenants, in the face of the Government’s decision to exempt supported housing from the reduction.

Although councillors agreed next year’s rent levels on 26 January, the following day the Government announced amendments to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill that mean supported housing and hostels are excluded from the rent reduction for a year. However, the Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, Sharon Taylor, and the Executive Member for Housing, Councillor Ann Webb, believe that it would be unfair to impose a rent increase to vulnerable residents, when the majority of council tenants will benefit from the decrease.

Councillor Ann Webb, Executive member for Housing, said: “I am utterly appalled at the heartless behaviour of the Government. This amendment is targeting the most vulnerable people in our society. It’s suggesting that older people and those who need extra support – many through no fault of their own – should be penalised and victimised. We simply will not allow this to happen in Stevenage.

“I have written to the Government to ask them to rethink these ludicrous decisions, which feel to me like part of an all-out war on social housing. I cannot and will not support any more attacks on the people of Stevenage who I believe need the most support.

“The Government’s recent decision to decrease rents for council tenants was ill-considered and will affect our ability to provide good quality council housing in Stevenage into the future. By constantly refusing to listen to the views of councillors, who are in tune with the needs of local people, the Government is destroying the quality of council services and tearing apart communities.”