COUNCIL house rents in South Lanarkshire will rise by 3.75 per cent from April – with the full backing of East Kilbride Housing Forum.
The council officially announced the rent increases – which average £1.95 a week – following an extensive consultation with tenants’ groups on the matter.
This compares with an average rent rise of £1.99 a week in the last financial year.
The decision brings the average rent of a council house in the area from £51.90 to £53.85 a week.
Tenants were fully involved in the process of deciding this year’s rent increase, starting with a Budgeting and Rent-Setting Conference last September, which resulted in a tenant-led question time event in December.
A series of presentations to tenants’ forums across South Lanarkshire offered them the chance to express a preference on four options for a rent increase: zero per cent, 2.75 per cent, 3.75 per cent and 4.75 per cent.
It was felt very strongly that the HomeHappening kitchen and bathroom programme needs to continue and be completed by 2011/12, and the consequent overall consensus was for the 3.75 per cent increase, which would make this possible.
Welcoming the council’s decision, Margaret McGill, chair of East Kilbride Housing Forum, told the News: “We are very pleased the council has taken on board the views of the tenants and housing groups, including East Kilbride Housing Forum.
“This rise is the one we opted for as it should pay for the council’s proposed full programme of housing refurbishment for the year, which includes 2950 new kitchen and bathroom installations which are urgently required and other internal and external work.
“We now have to make sure this full programme of works, as identified by the council during the consultation, is carried out.”