West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Social Housing tenants need to be protected from rent increases

Published: 11 June, 2013

Strabane Sinn Féin Cllr Brian Mc Mahon says that recently released figures revealing housing association rents have risen by 60% over the past 10 years, twice as much as those of the housing executive, shows that social housing tenants need to be protected.

He said, "With a review of housing structures imminent and concerns about alignment of rents, we need to ensure that those in Housing Executive homes who rents have been tailored to provide a safety net do not now fall foul of those arguing for rent increases as a way of raising finance.

"In the past year alone Association rents rose by a further 5% so there is a real fear among tenants that they will be forced to pay increasingly exorbitant rents for their property if they move from the Housing Executive.

"The Minister needs to ensure that social housing rents are protected so that those most in need are protected. There seems to be a shift in recent times to move rents closer to that of the private sector, which has people often being forced to pay substantial top ups over and above their housing benefit to ensure they have a home.

"Sinn Féin will be blocking the attempt to introduce the punitive 'bedroom tax' into the six counties but there is also a need to ensure that those living in the social housing sector have their rents protected or kept at inflationary rises."

"The Minister needs to spell out his position on this issue.