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Council proposes rent cut and housing improvements

BOROUGH Council rents will drop by one per cent from April, if councillors approve a recommendation when they meet on 7 February.

Cllr Leigh Hunt
Cllr Leight Hunt, portfolio holder for Communities and Homes. Published Tuesday, 31st January 2017

This would see average weekly rents reduce from £84.06 per week to £83.22 per week, with service charges set to stay roughly the same where applicable.

Further proposals recommended for approval include heating upgrades for around 230 properties, new bathrooms in around 110 properties and new kitchens for around 220 properties.

More than 1000 tenants will also see their homes installed with new double glazing and more secure composite front doors.

The council will aim to buy 12 properties on the open market to rent to council tenants, reinvesting in housing where properties have been bought under the Right to Buy.

While tenants will benefit from the rent cut and investment in properties, the reduced income will mean that maintenance and management costs will have to be reduced by around £500,000 per year.

This will be achieved through reduced materials stockholding and more efficient buying practices, better use of vehicles and other resources, and changes to the way the council works with suppliers.

Cllr Leigh Hunt, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for communities and homes, said:

"Tenants will be pleased to hear that we are planning to reduce rents by a further one per cent next year, and that we still intend to invest in our homes.

"Better heating, new kitchens and bathrooms, and more council-owned homes, will mean better energy efficiency and improved living standards for more Rugbeians."

The Housing Revenue Account budget will be set at a special meeting of the council to be held on 7 February 2017.

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