Swindon Labour Group Would Reverse Extra Charge on Sheltered Housing Tenants

Swindon Council Sheltered Housing residents will be paying an extra 2% more than other council tenants, Conservative Councillors have agreed. Labour moved a motion to reduce sheltered housing tenants rents by 1%, in line with the rent reduction for all other council tenants.  This was sadly rejected by the majority Conservative Group.

As part of the Council Housing budget agreed at the last Swindon Full Council Meeting, Conservative Councillors agreed to take the government offer of increasing sheltered housing tenants rents by 1%, while other council tenants were receiving a rent reduction of 1%.

Speaking on this issue at the Council Meeting, the Labour Group’s Shadow Housing Lead, Councillor Steve Allsopp, said:

“We do not believe in the principle that there should be different rent regimes between general purpose and sheltered housing tenants. A house is a house and additional costs for the sheltered element should be met through service charges.

The majority view [of sheltered housing tenants] is clear. They do not believe that they should be treated differently. Many make the point that they are amongst the poorest tenants and see no good reason why they should be given the privilege of a rent increase albeit modest whilst their fellow tenants enjoy a rent reduction.

Given that the discretion to apply the increase is currently only available for this rent round, I trust no assumptions are made for a baseline adjustment to the Medium Term Business Plan on rent increases.”