COUNCIL tenants look set to face a rent rise of 5.18 per cent.
However, Wrexham Council is also planning to carry out a major upgrade of its properties.
If the proposals get the go-ahead the improvements will see 2,100 new kitchens and bathrooms installed next year.
The proposed increase in rents is due to be discussed at a meeting of the local authority’s executive board on Tuesday.
Cllr Mark Pritchard – lead member for housing and planning – said: “I think we are all aware these are difficult times throughout the country and there are people struggling out there.
“We are going to borrow extra money and reinvest that into the council housing stock.
“We will be putting in 2,100 kitchens and bathrooms throughout the borough.
“That is a rolling programme for five years. Every council property in Wrexham will have a new bathroom and kitchen.”
Cllr Pritchard said a previous poll on stock transfer showed a big majority of tenants in favour of staying with the council rather than moving to a social landlord.
It had cost £1.5 million and Cllr Pritchard estimated a similar poll would cost £2 million, which he would rather spend on social housing stock in Wrexham.
“We are working in partnership with the Welsh Government to bring our houses up to the Welsh quality standard,” he said.
Cllr Pritchard said the council is in negotiations regarding the sourcing of kitchens and bathrooms.
He added Wrexham Council had no alternative over the raising of rents.
A statement from the local authority says: “We will be recommending council house rents in Wrexham should increase by 5.18 per cent. This is in line with Welsh Government proposals.
“For Wrexham Council the average guideline rent will increase to £71.41 per week – £77.36 on a 48 weeks basis.
“Under the Welsh Government’s housing finance rules the council has little choice but to set rents at the guideline figure, otherwise there will be financial penalties.”
The council added its maintenance and management costs are being kept at a low level, below that set by the Welsh Government.
“This allows for a significant contribution of £8.5 million to support the proposed housing improvement programme of £23.5 million. This will be the largest ever capital programme, although it is still below what is needed to bring all houses up to the required standard.”
l Updating the local planning guidance is also on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.
Changes being proposed include the council having nomination rights from its waiting list and affordable housing register for at least 75 per cent of all affordable housing properties being built.
Cllr Pritchard said: “We have very good developers and we have very poor developers who don’t want to give us nomination rights within new builds. This will set the ball rolling. The most important things is that we cater for the indigenous people within Wrexham.
“Developers will know they will have to cater for 75 per cent nomination rights. It will help local people.
“If you have people living in a ward and their grown up children want to be considered for a property in that ward they could be waiting for three, four, maybe 10 years.
“The bigger picture is, for example, child care. If you have your parents living close the family can help.”
Cllr Pritchard said there would be some developers who would oppose the scheme, but he strongly felt it deserved support.