Council Tenants in Hammersmith & Fulham Face Rent Rise

Councillor says tenant and residents' groups 'content' with increase

Aerial view of the Clem Attlee Estate

Council tenants in Hammersmith and Fulham will pay more in rent from April this year.

An increase of 1.5 per cent will come from: a 0.5 per cent rise based on inflation, plus the government’s policy of allowing councils to increase rent by a further one per cent.

For the tenants of over 12,000 council flats in the borough, not including leaseholders, this will equate to a weekly increase of £1.64 throughout 2021/22, or £85 for the year.

Charges for tenants and leaseholders’ garages will also rise by 1.5 per cent.

At a Cabinet meeting on 1 February, councillor Lisa Homan, cabinet member for housing, said tenants and residents groups were “content” with the changes, after being consulted in January.

Cllr Homan also said the inflationary rise of 0.5 per cent, based on the Consumer Price Index, was “slightly lower than we had anticipated”.

She added that this meant there will be “pressures” on the (HRA) Housing Revenue Account, which is the council’s pot of money that can only be used for housing services.

In 2021/22 the council expects to make savings of £3.7 million from its expenditure from the HRA, and a further £4.2 million the following year.

Council leader Stephen Cowan said this was due to cuts from central Government.

“The Government changed the rules, shortly after they came into office in 2010, to alter the funding for the HRA and it was warned that balances would go down as part of those cuts,” he said.

Last week, the council revealed that its residents will pay five per cent more in council tax from April.

For the average Band D property, this will equal to an extra £39.54 a year, with a total tax bill of £792 for the financial year 2021/22.

This does not include the planned increase in the Mayor of London’s share of council tax, which will see the average London household pay a further £31.59 more.

It was also recently stated that the council expects to lose £800,000 of its council tax revenue in 2021/22 due to many residents facing financial difficulty during the pandemic, and therefore qualifying for the Council Tax Support Scheme.

Owen Sheppard - Local Democracy Reporter

February 8, 2021