Ray Harmer MHKTenants to pay up to £2.01 more per week from April

The infrastructure minister says a tenant’s ability to pay is considered when setting rents, alongside the need for investment and maintenance in social housing.

It was announced this week that rents for those in public sector homes will rise by 1.9% from April, meaning tenants will have to pay an extra £1-2 a week depending on their property size.

The Department of Infrastructure and local authorities provide housing across the Island, but the cost of maintaining and investing in homes far outstrips what’s collected in rental income.

Government is expecting to pay out around £6 million in the coming year to plug this gap in funding, through what’s known as the ‘deficiency payments’.

Housing providers such as Douglas Council have called for more cash to be raised for spending on updating older stock, and for investment in new housing projects.

Local Democracy Reporter Ewan Gawne asked Mr Harmer if operation costs were the overriding factor in setting the rents:

Meanwhile, Onchan MHK Rob Callister is again calling for a “fair and equitable” public sector rent system.

He’s written to Mr Harmer following the announcement of a 1.9% increase in local authority housing rents from 1 April.

Mr Callister believes a restructure should be based on financial information and a tenant’s ability to pay.

He says he’s not against an annual inflation-based hike but feels change is required:

You can watch Mr Callister’s full interview with Manx Radio’s Tim Glover.

Source: Manx Radio