In February, the Board will decide on the rent levels that will apply from next April. Before coming to a decision, it wants to ask you what you think of their proposed increase.
The Board is asking for feedback on whether or not a £2.40 a week increase for a typical two bedroom house is reasonable. For a typical one bedroom house, the figure is £2.10 and for a three bedroom house, £2.60. While the final amount may vary slightly depending on your actual current rent the increase will equate to 3% of your current rent. We are hoping that based on preliminary budgeting there is a reasonable prospect that the actual increase could be lower than 3%.
The Board realises that many tenants face real financial pressures so it is aiming to keep any increase as low as practically possible. However, we have to set rents at a level that allows us to run the association effectively and ensure we can continue to meet the costs of providing good quality services.
Most of the feedback that we receive suggests that most tenants think that their rent payment represents real value for money. They value the quality of their home and our day to day services. So in consulting on this possible rent rise, the Board’s view is that it is important to maintain services at the current standard.
The rent also pays for the longer-term improvements to our houses. In the latest newsletter, you can read about our plans for major improvement works over the next twelve months. Expenditure on our maintenance and repairs programmes this year will amount to almost £1.7 million. Such investment each year ensures that all our houses are maintained to the same high standard and will provide for good quality homes for existing and prospective tenants for many years to come.
The Board has invested in additional money advice and tenancy services which are proving to be of real benefit to many of our tenants. Ayrshire Housing also continues to build new houses to meet the needs of people on our long waiting list. We have though scaled back our ambitions so as not put any additional pressure on the rents that are charged.
We welcome your comments on the proposed rent increase. Please get in touch by the middle of February. You can speak to your Housing Officer, or write or email us. You can also leave a comment at below for others to see. You are also welcome to join our tenants panel to make your feelings known.