The Management Committee is currently considering the appropriate rent charges for all properties in the ownership of WWHC for the forthcoming financial year and is keen to consult with all tenants/members to allow them to express their views, should they wish. The matter will also be considered by the WWHC Tenant Scrutiny Panel.
The Co-operative’s approach to rent setting has always been to ensure we deliver as high a quality of accommodation and services as possible, at a rent which is reasonable, comparable with other similar landlords, and affordable to our members/tenants.
We are sure most tenants/members agree that we consistently achieve this objective and regular Tenants Satisfaction Surveys confirm that the majority of tenants think WWHC rents are good value for money.
The Co-operative’s Management Committee, who decide rent levels, all of whom are WWHC tenants or prospective tenants themselves, are acutely aware of the financial and economic difficulties many of our tenants face currently.
Our strategy is to continue to invest in our properties and protect high quality front line services, for our tenants/members. Over the past few years we have needed to make considerable budget savings due to the economic climate. In doing so we have succeeded in ensuring that services we provide are not significantly affected.
With a full understanding of the difficulties many tenants/members are currently facing in relation to financial hardship, The Management Committee is keen to ensure an as low as possible rent uplift this year and is proposing a 2.9% uplift on all rents for 2020/21, which unfortunately is higher than inflation currently.
For comparison purposes South Lanarkshire Council is currently consulting on a 3.9% rent rise.
WWHC has had to absorb considerable additional costs of late, including Concierge sickness levels significantly above normal, additional pension costs and additional expenditure on safety measures in our housing stock.
The Scottish Housing Regulator would prefer rent consultations to give tenants options on rent charges. We feel, this year, again that this is impractical due to the vagaries of Universal Credit. Approximately 67% of the WWHC rental income is benefit dependent. Since full roll out of Universal Credit in our area in October 2017, predicting income has been very difficult, due to the considerable changes in the benefits system. Therefore attempting to provide options would be almost impossible.
The Management Committee is very keen to hear members’ views on this proposal, and on the WWHC Rent Policy available in the Freedom of Information section of this site. We can also provide the Rent Policy in another format if you require. If so please contact the WWHC Office. The Management Committee is not proposing any changes to the Rent Policy itself this year.
If you are a WWHC tenant/member and you want to respond to this consultation please write to our director, Paul Farrell, at our address or via the contact form on our website no later than 12 noon on Monday, 24th February 2020 .