Rent reductions on way for thousands of Hartlepool families

Rents are coming down Titan House
Rents are coming down Titan House

Thousands of social housing tenants in Hartlepool are due to see a reduction in their rents from next month.

Housing associations were instructed to cut rents by 1% a year over four years as part of a Government drive to reduce the country’s housing benefit bill.

David Pickard, director of operations at Thirteen housing group which has 7,400 properties in Hartlepool, said: “The first reduction took place in April 2016, and this April will mark a second year’s decrease.

“Last year supported housing rents were exempt from this reduction, but this year the exemption will no longer apply meaning they will also reduce by 1% from April 2017.

“Across the groups 33,600 homes, this will have an income reduction of £1.3 million.

“The overall reduction in rents over the next four years will have an impact on our business of around £55 million.”

Mr Pickard said some tenants may see an overal increase in rents due to services charge rises which will be capped at £5 a week.

He added: “However, the majority of customers will benefit from a decrease in their rent which on average will be a fall of 83p per week.”

He said Thirteen remains committed to investing in improvements and building new homes where needed to aid regeration in the area.