Ipswich council house rent increase agreed - here's how much your bill will increase

The new homes on the former Tooks site in Ipswich will be ready by Christmas. Picture: Sonya Duncan

New council homes on the former Tooks Bakery site are in the process of being occupied, Ipswich Borough Councils said - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A 1.5% increase in Ipswich council house rent has been agreed for April 2021 - but support will remain for those facing financial hardship, the council has pledged.

Ipswich Borough Council's executive on Tuesday night agreed a rise in council house rent of the consumer price index plus 1% in line with government recommendations, making the rise 1.5% in total for 2021/22.

According to the council's report, that will put the average rent up from £82.17 per week to £83.40 for council house homes.

The council said that rise was needed to continue maintenance and improvements to the council housing stock, but was below what rent rises would have been in the private sector.

Neil MacDonld, Ipswich Borough Council's portfolio holder for housing and health. Picture: IPSWICH B

Ipswich Borough Council portfolio holder for housing, Neil MacDonald, said the modest council house rent rise was needed to maintain properties - Credit: Contributed

Councillor Neil MacDonald, portfolio holder for housing, said: "This money is needed to continue investing in our housing stock and to build more houses."

Mr MacDonald said there had been more than 10,000 repairs to council homes this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as 150 disability adaptations and 217 properties refurbished between tenancies.

"These would not have been possible without a financially sound housing revenue account," he said.

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"This does mean rents and charges have increased by a modest amount within the government guidelines, and that ensures the quality service provided by the housing team can continue."

Since April 2020, more than 700 council tenants in the town have signed up to Universal Credit support, and Mr MacDonald pledged that the team would continue to work with those on the scheme.

"I do understand this is a difficult time for many tenants and we do have a tenant support team that will continue to provide advice and support to any tenant experiencing financial hardship," he said.

"We are currently contacting every tenant that has moved onto Universal Credit since April this [financial] year and trying to work with them to assess what support will be required to happen before their first payment and set up a payment plan so they can carry on paying successfully."

Occupation of 41 new council homes at the former Tooks Bakery site has now begun, and the council has agreed a contract to replace 1,100 roofs of council homes most needed over the coming months.

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