Rising rents in Blackpool will hit ‘low income people’

The 4.1% hike was accepted by 19 votes to 16 at a full council meeting, with the Conservative group opposing the move which they say would hurt low-income families already suffering from a hike of the cost of living.

Tory group leader Councilor Tony Williams said rising costs were worse for “those on low incomes who can’t afford it”.

He said: ‘You are referring to these lowest municipal rents in the North West, but it is also one of the lowest paying areas in the North West.

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The rise will help fund investments such as these new homes on Mereside

“Government guidelines are just guidelines, and it’s this council’s choice what it decides to do.”

Councilor Ivan Taylor, a cabinet member responsible for housing in the Labor-led council, said the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), which monitors local authority spending on social housing, had changed its policy and now expected rents to rise to fund investment.

He said: ‘It’s a choice between doing what we’ve been asked to do and raising rents in order to deliver on our ambitious investment program, or seeing that program inevitably suffer.

“Average rents in Blackpool remain the lowest in the North West, so it won’t have a massive impact in that direction.”

The 4.1%, which had already been approved by the executive, means weekly rents will drop from around £70 to £72.97.

The increase will generate a further £713,000 to reinvest in the city’s 5,000 municipal properties managed by Blackpool Coastal Housing.

Currently, £10million is being invested in the construction of 75 new homes at Troutbeck Crescent on Mereside, while work has begun to build 131 new homes in Grange Park as part of a £20million development.

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