Rents increase for council housing - but shire still good value

Aberdeenshire Councillor Karen Clark
Aberdeenshire Councillor Karen Clark

Councillors agreed the council’s housing revenue budget, including rents and charges for the next year, alongside setting its main budget.

Members agreed to increase council house rents by an average of £2.59 a week and heard that the service had consulted tenants and received endorsement for rent levels from members of the Social Work and Housing Committee. The increase by 4.5% will be fixed for three years and ensures that Aberdeenshire rents continue to be below the Scottish average.

Councillors also heard that as part of the most recent review of the housing business plan around 300 additional new homes have been proposed to be built over the next six years in Aberdeenshire.

The report to councillors also highlighted that the service is exceeding Scottish Housing Quality Standard targets in the condition of its existing housing stock. Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s social work and housing committee Councillor Karen Clark said that in return for their rent tenants will continue to get a high quality housing service.

Vice-chair Alisan Norrie said: “Aberdeenshire’s rent charge currently compares well with other local authorities, which continue to be lower than most Housing Association rents.

“The Business Plan shows we have a forward thinking approach to service delivery, excellent financial management and a clear focus on continuous improvement where our tenants are at the heart of decision making on all aspects of service delivery.”

Councillor Anne Allan said that she was pleased to note that provision had been made for 300 new homes and that, despite the increase, was reassured that tenants were satisfied.