Research has found that tenants renting from housing associations in Glasgow are facing an average rent increase of 4.8%. The data was collected from the ten biggest social landlords in the city and they have all increased their rent by more or less the same amount at a time when many are still struggling with money woes.
Between them the housing associations provide homes for hundreds of thousands of people and manage nearly 70,000 properties that are all protected by landlord insurance. The hike has prompted local politicians to call on each of the housing associations to remember their responsibilities to residents and wherever possible keep the rent increases to a minimum. The largest increase of the ten was from Govanhill Housing Association which put their rents up 5.8% while the lowest was Southside Housing Association with a 1.7% rise.
Andy Young, policy and strategy manager at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said “Housing associations and cooperatives always consult with tenants when setting their rents. Individual associations have the freedom to choose the rent levels which are right for their area and for their business. Housing associations and cooperatives face a difficult task in setting rents which strike a balance between the rate of inflation, what tenants can afford, and what income they need to continue to provide quality services for communities.”
In their defence, Housing Association leaders point out that rents in the city remain below the national average. They say they need to make sure rents provide themselves with enough income to cover the costs of investing in tenants’ homes, providing a good service, and repaying any loans they may have taken out to make the area a better a place to live. The associations also point out that while they try to keep rents as low as possible, they also have to find money to invest in improving properties as well as dealing with inflation and any VAT rises.