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Rent On The Increase As Council Housing Budget Is Set For Approval

Friday January 10 2014

RENT increases will come in for council housing tenants as this year's housing budget is all set for approval.

Cabinet members are set to give the green light for the Housing Revenue Account budget and Capital Investment Programme for 2014/15 at their next meeting on January 15.

The HRA budget allows Berneslai Homes on behalf of the council to continue to deliver a responsive repair service, to work with partners to combat anti-social behaviour, provide support to vulnerable families and invest in new homes to help people on the housing waiting list.

The capital programme approves a five-year programme totalling £128m. Savings of £8m have been identified.

A £4.2m investment in new build projects will be made, as well as a further £1m in the acquisitions programme which supports the council’s Empty Homes Programme.

There will also be £1.78m available for boiler replacements, targeting the oldest gas appliances in the housing stock, and replacing with more efficient boilers.

Perhaps more notably, council house tenants in Barnsley will also see an increase in their rent from April, with a decision to be agreed on February 6. 

The average weekly rent increase for Barnsley Council tenants in 2014/15 will be £4.66.

The level of rent settlement underpins the viability of the 30-year self-financing business plan for council housing.

Cllr Roy Miller, cabinet spokesperson for development, environment and culture, said: "The rent increase is regrettable, but the budget ensures that front line services are safeguarded.

"Barnsley and indeed South Yorkshire in general has had historically low rents. This has now been made impossible as we have to be in line with government policy."

What do you think to this? Have your say below.

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Reply Posted by mrs a on Friday January 10 2014 at 11:42
Still cheaper than private rent. Wish our family could get a council house. We would be very grateful of the secured tenancy :)

Reply Posted by loz on Friday January 10 2014 at 12:47
I think its ridiculous, when are they gonna stop increasing the rents £90 is nearly half of most peoples wages plus council tax has to be added on to this, I think your better off not working and getting your rent paid for. I do work by the way

Reply Posted by Lyn on Friday January 10 2014 at 13:25
Well why not people r struggling now why not make them struggle even more it's a joke there should be a national strike n get this country sorted we will all end up on street soon it's about time the government sorted this country out who should be here n who shouldn't !!!!!!!!!

Reply Posted by loz on Friday January 10 2014 at 13:44
I agree with you Lyn, well said

Reply Posted by mary on Friday January 10 2014 at 14:50
Stop moaning! Like Mrs A said you should be grateful you have a council house. To many ppl in this age think it's a right to have things given to them for nowt. If you don't like it go into private renting- that would be a shock for you! Or even save n buy your own home. See what mortgage you can get for £90!

Reply Posted by I wish on Friday January 10 2014 at 14:58
Yes wish I could get a council house too, I private rent, it's a lot more expensive and house smaller! I'm a single working mum though, so bottom of the list for me!

Reply Posted by loz on Friday January 10 2014 at 14:59
When you have a council house its not like you have been given it for "nowt" you still have rent to pay, what do you get back from the council I've not long since bought my own kitchen and bathroom which as cost me a fortune cos the council kitchen didn't need anything doing to it so they say, it was all dropping to bits,

Reply Posted by Purple haze on Monday January 13 2014 at 14:54
If you can afford to spend a fortune in your own words on kitchens and bathrooms then yo should not be in social housing. Can you not see the hypocrisy?

Reply Posted by JC on Friday January 10 2014 at 16:39
People in this country need to learn you should WORK for a living, on my street there are many people that think its ok for the government to pay their rent etc while they lay in bed until dinner time and pick up the job seekers for doing nothing.

Both me and my partner have worked full time since leaving school, my partner is self employed but always paid his tax and national insurance contributions, yet when he had been out of work for over 6 months and I was on maternity leave and reduced pay we were not entitled to any help what so ever, yet its workers that pay into the system to pay these people benefits. Try working full time to pay a mortgage, bills etc and keep a roof above my family and childrens head with no help from anywhere.

This government want ot start and help the working and make sure anyone who is physically able to does so.

Reply Posted by Alex on Saturday January 11 2014 at 15:11
@JC What are you talking about? I see nothing on here regarding people on benefits. I think you are another one that blames anything and everything on people on benefits. Think you self lucky you've had a job since leaving school, most people haven't. So you have a mortgage, well big deal! again, most people can't just go and get one.

Before you start and anyone else with that same mind, I've worked since I were 15 at the pit until I was made redundant but quickly got a job, and I am one who's never claimed benefit and never had a mortgage. I totally agree with Loz. Most people are paying enough as it is, without this as well.

Reply Posted by Janet on Wednesday January 15 2014 at 11:25
You need to jump down off your high horse and live in the real world, not every one is lucky enough to be in work, don't class every one the same, you might be in those shoes one day, no job is safe.

Reply Posted by Tom on Friday January 10 2014 at 17:20
100 years after the rent strike that led to the Labour party's gain in popularity and eventual success, perhaps it's time they re-examined their roots.

In 1944 Nye Bevan said, "The greatest opportunity open in this country for raising the general standard of living lies in housing."

Labour put rents up above inflation every year for a decade, the Tories are doing the same.
Wages didn't keep up.

A council house now consumes nearly 50% of some full time workers income, it used to be 20%.

The amount of working people claiming housing benefit has risen faster than the amount of people claiming housing benefit, there are less people out of work claiming it, because they have moved into work, but the wages aren't enough to pay rent, not even on a council house.

We have the some of the smallest houses in Europe, what a joke of a nation we are.

Outright home ownership is just 15%, most people are mortgaged up to the eye balls and renting from the banks. You go to Romania and OUTRIGHT home ownership is 99%..

We need better housing and we need better housing now. Cut pay in the ALMOs, HAs etc. and build some decent housing, and lower the rents. Stop paying housing benefit to private landlords and build housing for the people.

Reply Posted by rosie on Friday January 10 2014 at 18:09
We've recently got a council house and we work! yes it was a shithole but after a bit of hard graft, it's now lovely. get your name on the list and put down for as many areas as possible, you've more chance of getting one.

Reply Posted by pa on Saturday January 11 2014 at 22:47
I have just applied to buy my council house due to the rent increases coming every year, I pay £325 rent per month. Not that far behind private renting, in April it will be £345 a month, I can buy it for £37,000, 3 bedroomed... in a nice quiet cul-de-sac, Before anyone comments about council estates, 99% of residents work and the other 1% are retired, my mortgage is going to be £250.....!!!!

Reply Posted by pa on Saturday January 11 2014 at 22:48
That's £250 a month... saving me £150 a month nearly... be crazy not to

Reply Posted by Lilly on Saturday January 11 2014 at 22:58
A 3 bed private rent will cost around £450 - £550 in a council estate.

Reply Posted by ray on Monday January 13 2014 at 11:27
Good on you.

Reply Posted by Purple Haze on Monday January 13 2014 at 14:59
In my honest opinion we have a shortage of social housing because people like you are buying them for a pittance. You should have to pay full price value. Typical ex council semi costs about £75 - £100 K. You buying it for 37000 is a joke. No wonder the property market is so messed up.
Either you need social housing or you do not.

Reply Posted by Jeff on Sunday January 12 2014 at 09:35
This is a government problem and not BH.
Have to praise their efforts through these times... Upgrading houses etc.
Very good value and cannot moan...
£90 a week with ALL them services 24/7 is VERY good value.
And the right to buy makes houses Dirt cheap. But why need to do that when for a minimal £90 a week , support, the service provided Is an excellent service!

Reply Posted by walty malty on Sunday January 12 2014 at 15:15
please stop having a go at people on benefits,its what the top 1percent wants,its called divide and rule.what about the royals 33million a year in handouts,what about the banks,bailed out to the tune of trillions.wot about the never ending bullshit wars that bush and blair started, based on lies,thats where yor tax money goes.can anybody say that

Reply Posted by david handley on Monday January 13 2014 at 08:41
This government has just given away 500 million in aid to syria when half the uk is under water..homes need building but they can find 50 billion for high speed rail just for the sake of 20 minutes ..makes my urine boil.!! This government cant run a bath never mind a country.

Reply Posted by ray on Monday January 13 2014 at 11:25
As someone who works in council houses as a contractor, fitting kitchens and bathrooms I must say a large percentage of people that live in them do not look after them, and to be quite honest it's the none workers that have the most time on their hands whose houses are the worst condition.

A lot of them are absolutely filthy, bathrooms and kitchens that haven't been cleaned in years. Grime allover the walls human waste in the toilets and bathrooms, carpets caked in all manner of things, mindless damage, cupboard doors ripped off and doors and plaster with holes in them. And what do we do on behalf of councils come in and rip it all out so we can put them new ones in. I know for a fact when one job is finished and a few grand spent on the house within a couple of years it will be the back to as it was. Thesea re the tenants that also expect EVERYTHING on their house doing, down to the simplest of manual jobs like keeping the drain clear putting a coat of paint on a dreary room.

You know the houses before you even through the front door usually the front yard will be overgrown and a mess probably with some rubbish in it just left. People have no respect for the houses as they aren't theirs. They are the ones that complain when you have to knock em up to give them free stuff at 9.00am

The old dears and workers you can tell as well, house tidy when you come in kitchen all fettled and ready for you to work, garden nice and looked after and they appreciate what you're doing.

To all those complaining in the last 10 years most council houses have had

1. New Boilers - saving money on gas
2. New Windows - Saving money on heating
3. Roof and Cavity wall insulation - as above
4. new kitchen
5. new bathroom
6. Garden walls and drives renewed and repaired.

Put all that together does that equal and extra £5.00 a week? Also bear in mind that council properties are subsidised by those that do not live in them, many private tenants would love a council property but for the backwards reasons of circumstance do not hit essential criteria, i.e they work and provide for themselves and don't have 4 kids on benefits.

Reply Posted by sid on Monday January 13 2014 at 11:38
What an eye opener Ray. I have often thought that the people with time on their hands do seem to have filthy gardens! And often wondered what state their house must be in. The council need to be allowed to ensure the tenants tow the line. Maybe an inspection date for the worst offenders? Seems harsh, what else could be done. Again no self respect with these kind of tenants. Many of the people with the most time are also the laziest,and seem to sneer at those with self respect. Very odd.

Reply Posted by ray on Monday January 13 2014 at 14:14
Sid it's no accident either, those that generally have at least one working or are past retirement age keep the houses in good nick, there are more bad ones than you'd think though I'm sure it didn't always used to be that way though.

I could tell some right stories about some of the stuff we've seen on jobs, it's not just me either, other fitters and tradesmen all have em. It's a different world.

Reply Posted by Purple Haze on Monday January 13 2014 at 15:02
ray as a matter of my employment I used to spend a lot of time entering such homes. There are more people living like you describe than most would ever believe.

There are loads of stinking, filthy homes full of rubbish and usually loads of animals too and loads of kids.

It is true that the workers make more effort generally and the unemployed make zero effort as a rule.

Reply Posted by pot calling kettle on Monday January 13 2014 at 12:04
shouldnt u b working ray

Reply Posted by ray on Monday January 13 2014 at 13:39
Pot Calling Kettle, Nah Im on holiday, even If I wasn't I'm self employed pal so I pay my own wages.

Reply Posted by Donna on Monday January 13 2014 at 15:06
I think it's wrong the amount it's going up by, I don't mind a small increase but almost 250 a year is a lot. My husbands wage won't be increased that much and with the utility increase this makes funds tight.
I would love to have a scheme by the council where you can opt to pay an addition say £10 a time to pay for jobs doing like the plastering work I'd like done or a new kitchen or even a shower putting in.
They should have a price list for jobs you can opt for and a cost that you can pay with your rent like the insurance.
So say a shower and fitting for £200 you'd pay over 20weeks at £10 plus it keeps council workers in jobs and brings homes to a good standard by proper qualified work men.
On the condition there is no rent arrears etc and the works guaranteed. Everyone's happy.

Reply Posted by Matter if fact on Monday January 13 2014 at 15:56
More houses need building if only to put the polish, Bulgarians

Reply Posted by Ackerman on Monday January 13 2014 at 17:50
Wish the council would replace my back boiler along with the free standing Gas Fire. We still waiting after 3 months for them to fix our bathroom, we got water rolling down the kitchen wall whenever we use the bath.

Reply Posted by anon on Monday January 13 2014 at 17:58
Can't you take the bath front off and have a look Ackerman? Sounds like a pipe from the waste,s come off.
It,all get stinky and cause damp and spoil your stuff.

Reply Posted by bananas on Monday January 13 2014 at 22:23
that's it. balls to getting up at 5 every morning 4 peanuts. ive seen the light. dole 4 me. no rent, no council tax, but plenty of beer tokens. if u cant beat em , join em.

Reply Posted by bent banana on Wednesday January 15 2014 at 16:56
you pay 10% ctax on benefits.

Reply Posted by jan on Wednesday January 15 2014 at 09:17
I work 16 hours and do get help with my rent but I still find it hard to make ends meet and this new increase will be hard.ray I think when you coucil go out to see the houses before work like you just said as been ddonethey should not give DIRTY AND HOUSE THAT LOOK LIKE SHIT PITS the new things this is money wasted that can be used for other people and things xx by the way not all messy garden mean messy house I am just not a good gardener but the weed have a mind off there own lol xxxx

Reply Posted by dan on Wednesday January 15 2014 at 16:48
im sick to the back teeth of people with mortgages moaning about how much they have to pay,you chose to get a morrtgage you chose the amount you would have to pay out every month,you knew when you bought your house you would have to pay for your own repairs,nobody forced you,and yes i am buying my own home and yes i do have a mortgage but you know what i bought a cheaper house with lower mortgage payments and am doing it over time,its not people in council housings fault if youv'e over stretched yourselves,and yes i am now paying less in mortgage payments than i was in rent,and if for some reason i get into difficulties with my mortgage the one thing i can be sure of is that it wont be the fault of anyone who rents from the council.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday January 15 2014 at 17:44
I don't understand how council house tenants can complain at such a miniscule rent rise.
From my own personal point of view council house tenants get extremely good value for money for the homes they "rent" from the council, not forgetting that these rents are subsidised and the fact that to private rent a two bedroom terrace house in one of the less desirable areas of town costs upwards of £120+ a week.

That sentiment puts things into perspective does it not?

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday January 15 2014 at 17:46
Oh and while I'm on when the Tories upped the interest rates in the 80's to 18% and people were having their homes repossessed right left and centre do you think council house rents went up at the same percentage?

I think not...

Reply Posted by Observer on Thursday January 16 2014 at 07:48
Tom. The reason why the council workers percentage of staff is up is simply because this country now has a small manufacturing capacity. Most of the british people are now employed in servicable or servicing industries. Ask yourself why tom ? Because the tory scumbags rid us of most of the heavy industries and manufacturing industries. Ask your self why also we have a poor housing situation in this country. Because we have to find somwhere fornthe migrants. Ans also if the outright ownership of properties in romania are 99 per cent. Why are they flocking here ? As for the council homes, i have been in some. They are shocking. And reapair work carried out by bh...is a disgrace. Poor workmanship. Due to the ending kf apprenticeships...which incidentally the tory party scrapped. Dear me. What a shameful act they are.

Reply Posted by Mary on Thursday January 23 2014 at 18:30
To loz - what do you get back from the council? discounted rent rates, a good landlord, a right to buy scheme, most have - as indicated above - new kitchens and bathrooms. I used to rent a council house - when I was a single mum, now I have worked hard and saved enough to buy my own home - This is what a council house is for really - to have when you need it and pass on to another in need when you are back on your feet. Its good when people participate in right to buy - but I personally didnt want to. pa - 99% of residents work and the other 1% are retired?? errr no more like 65% work, 1% retired and 34% dont work - of which about 20% dont give a crap about their homes. Must be nice living in your world! :-P

Reply Posted by mary on Thursday January 23 2014 at 18:33
TBH.....even thats probably low on the unemployment stats! in your area if 1% are retired and 99% work - then it must be illegal working ;-P

ipso Regulated