Social tenants in Portsmouth to be hit with rent hike this year as Portsmouth City Council faces £12m housing deficit

COUNCIL house tenants will have to pay more in rent and car parking in Portsmouth from April this year as the city faces a £12m housing deficit.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 9:37 pm
Portsmouth City Council's most recently completed council house development - Fred Francis Close in Havant. Picture: Sarah Standing (180319-2418)

At a meeting last night (Jan 27) Portsmouth City Council's housing boss, Councillor Darren Sanders, approved an average rent increase of 2.7 per cent and a rise in car parking costs of 1.7 per cent.

It is hoped the hike, which combines the consumer price index and an added one per cent, will prevent further deficit caused by a government-imposed four-year reduction on prices which started in 2016.

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Cllr Sanders said: 'Nobody likes putting up rents but we have faced artificial cuts that have forced us into deficit. This is a responsible compromise.

'The £12m imposed government deficit which has led to problems with reserves is £12m less for doing up properties and making people's lives better.'

Under the new charges rent for an average council home in the city will increase from £84.85 to £87.07 a week.

Parking costs for council home garages will rise between 1.5 and 1.8 per cent. However, costs for heating will stay the same.

Housing activist and Labour spokesman, Cllr Cal Corkery, commented: 'I have been doing the rounds at community meetings and trying to engage with people on this.

'The general feedback that I have got is that people think rents as a whole are affordable.

'The main complaint is around parking charges and the way they relate to other parking charges. In Somers Town you have got various different prices. For people in Hyde Park Road they can get a permit for £30 a year. In Ladywood House the parking permits are £50 a year.

'Then coming along to around Ivy Close it's over £200 a year.'

Cllr Sanders agreed a more 'intergrated' system was needed between the housing association, the council's traffic and transportation portfolio and the housing portfolio to look at the variation in parking costs.

The four-year drop in rent prices was imposed by the government as part of the 2015 summer Budget. It reduced social rents by one per cent for four years.

Portsmouth's news prices will begin with the 2020 financial year.