Tenants hit by rent rises as costs bite

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RENT rises averaging more than £6 a week are set to hit social housing tenants in the district.

Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) tenants who are already facing rising living costs and falling incomes were shocked at the rent rise, which they said would pile more pressure on their finances.

Many posted message on the Express Facebook site after WDH sent letters informing them of the above-inflation increase set by the government.

Karen Robinson posted: “My rent has gone up by £5.01 again and I’m struggling.

“I work 16 hours and pay full rent and council tax so I know I’ll receive no help from anyone. It’s getting to be a choice of either rent or shopping.”

WDH said the increases varied depending on each type of property but averaged £6.08 per week.

This was based on a formula of the September Retail Price Index measure of inflation plus 0.5 per cent.

Richard Parkin, WDH’s deputy chief executive, said: “A Government formula based on the rate of inflation each September is used by all housing associations to set their annual rent levels to expected amounts.

“We fully understand the financial pressures our tenants face, and we are committed to ensuring that our rents give the best value for money and we provide the best possible service.”

Mr Parkin said the latest tenant survey showed a 90 per cent overall satisfaction level and 85 per cent of tenants believed WDH offered value for money.

WDH also has range of help and support including dedicated debt advisors to help tenants with cash problems, Mr Parkin added.

He said tenants concerned about managing their finances were asked to contact OneCALL or visit www.askted.org.uk.”