6.5% Wales social rent cap ‘a direct result of Labour-made housing crisis,’ say Tories
Welsh Tories have slammed a Welsh Government rent cap on social housing, describing it as “a direct result of the Labour-made housing crisis”.
Climate Change Minister Julie James has today, 16 November, confirmed a 6.5% cap for social rents.
The cap for the next financial year is along with a package of support for tenants.
The Minister outlined a series of commitments she had secured with social landlords including that there will be ‘no evictions due to financial hardship for the term of the rent settlement in 2023-24’.
“I have been clear that no social tenant will experience any change in their rent until April 2023, but I do need to set rents for the next financial year now to give the sector time to plan,” the Minister said.
“From April 2023, the maximum limit which social rents can charge will be 6.5% – an increase well below the rate of inflation. This is the maximum any landlord can charge across all of their properties.
“No landlord is required to charge the maximum and I know all landlords will carefully consider affordability and set rents as appropriate across their housing stock.
“Within the overall settlement landlords may freeze, lower or raise individual rents based on a number of local factors of which affordability is a key consideration. The rate is a maximum not a requirement or a target.
“We know that any increase in social rent may impact those social tenants who pay all or part of their own rent. These tenants, in particular, need to be protected from being placed into financial hardship through trying to cover the costs of keeping a roof over their heads.
“Our agreement with our social landlords will help do that – protecting and enhancing the provision of good quality housing and vital tenant support services.
“Finally, our agreement with social landlords builds on existing engagement with tenants in rent-setting decisions, including explaining how income from rent is invested and spent.”
A joint campaign, encouraging tenants to talk to their landlord if they are experiencing financial difficulties and access support available, will be launched across Wales next year.
Rent cap disappointment
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Housing, Janet Finch-Saunders MS said: “It is incredibly disappointing that Labour ministers are having to resort to rent caps in Wales to combat rent rises which are a direct result of the Labour-made housing crisis.
“As a result of Labour’s failures, only 6,000 houses are being built per year, less than half of what we need.
“If Labour ministers spent half the time addressing the shocking shortage of housing across Wales as they did planning on putting more politicians in Cardiff Bay, a lot more could get done.
“Labour must address the root of the housing crisis in Wales and not look to paper over the cracks that they themselves have caused.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.