Waltham Forest council tenants facing maximum rent hike

Council tenants across Waltham Forest are likely to face the maximum possible rent hike next year.

At a meeting of Waltham Forest Council leaders on 4th November, a 4.1 per cent increase in council rent next April was proposed.

If agreed at the full council meeting in December, the rise would be more than double the 1.5 per cent increase that came into effect this April.

The council’s cabinet member for housing, Louise Mitchell, said the hike was necessary to allow more new homes to be built and to fund the maintenance and repair of existing homes.

She said: “We are estimating £69million will be available for investing in the existing stock, a lot of that money will be spent around fire safety work.

“I’m confident that the report I’m putting forward will allow the council to achieve all the things we want to do and continue those priorities while maintaining our financial stability.”

Current Government rules on council rent rises will allow maximum increases linked to inflation until April 2024, when councils must limit their budget to more “prudent” 1 per centt rises.

Waltham Forest Council’s housing account was £200million in debt in April this year.

At the same meeting, council leaders also agreed to continue offering council tax discounts of up to 76 per cent for struggling working-age residents and up to 100 per cent for those who are retired. 

The Government pays £14million towards supporting Waltham Forest council tax payers, while the council funds the remaining £4.3million from its own budget.

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Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter