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.