Rent increase is below inflation rate

Social Development Minister, Alex Attwood has announced that, on average, the increase in Housing Executive rents next year will be less than £2.

The average weekly rent increase for tenants will be 3.75 per cent, well below the 4.8 per cent inflation rate.

This compares with an above inflation rise in England, where rents will go up by a figure which is 80 per cent more than that being applied now in Northern Ireland, and well above the rate of inflation.

Mr Attwood said, “There is a compelling reason to keep rent increases below the rate of inflation. The cost of living, the rate of inflation, rise in commodity and oil prices and all the other prevailing economic conditions means that keeping rent increases lower is essential.

“A key priority for me is protecting the most vulnerable in society. Keeping rent increases well below the rate of inflation will help do that, especially in tough economic times, where every penny counts for households.”

Close to 80 per cent of Housing Executive tenants have their rent paid in full or in part by Housing Benefit. For those who do pay their rent, this decision should help families and individuals in the future.