Rotherham Council’s Cabinet is set to renew its commitments to supporting tenants, continued investment in housing growth, and maintaining the Decent Homes Standard at its meeting on Monday 13 February.
The Housing Revenue Account Business Plan renews the Council’s commitment to supporting tenants with financial pressures resulting from the cost of living crisis. It will also see investment of £115.7m in new affordable housing by 2025-26 and a continued commitment to invest £1.6m per year in Housing Support Services.
The new homes to be delivered by the Housing Growth Programme will be delivered by either building new properties on Council owned land, or by the purchasing of suitable homes from private developers and the open market. The aim is to provide much needed affordable housing that people in Rotherham require.
There is continued demand for Council homes across Rotherham. Since April 2022, there were over 6,600 people on the Council’s Housing Register.
To support this programme of investment, Cabinet is set to approve a seven per cent increase in Council tenant and shared ownerships rents, and a six per cent increase in charges for shared facilities such as garages and laundry facilities. This increase is significantly less than inflation and most Rotherham Council tenants will receive additional Housing Benefit or Universal Credit that will cover some or all of the increase.
Cabinet is also expected to agree an increase in District Heating charges, paid by 1,260 properties around the borough, with the unit rate increasing from 7.22p to 20.68p. This will mean the average bill for a District Heating customer will be in line with the proposed government energy price cap from April 2023. To keep the increase down to this level, the Council is proposed to spend nearly £2.6 million from the Housing Revenue Account – a significant increase on the amount being spent this year.
Councillor Amy Brookes, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet member for Housing, said: “It is vital that the funding is available to maintain good quality homes and services for the tenants of Rotherham. At the moment, our Housing budget is under pressure as a result of increasing costs and the impact of the government’s rent cap, which means real terms cuts to the money we have available to spend on housing.”
“Building new council homes is a key priority for us, to ensure that more residents are able to access affordable housing which suits their and their family’s needs. We can’t afford to let up on making more affordable homes available.”
From January 2018 to November 2022, the Council completed work on a range of new affordable homes including 314 homes for rent and 125 homes for shared ownership. 354 of these homes were new builds through Council-led construction projects, including the new Riverside Residential Quarter in Rotherham town centre.
Further information about council homes and shared ownership is available on the Rotherham Council website here