NEARLY a quarter of the people who currently pay for social housing in Wrexham look set to be hit with an increase to their rent.

At an Executive Board meeting at the Guildhall on Tuesday (February 11), councillors agreed to the recommendation of a 2.7 per cent increase to the price some residents pay for social housing.

The changes – which will come into effect from April – are likely to hit an estimated 24 per cent of the residents who presently pay for social housing in the county..

However, this rental increase will not affect all social housing residents, but rather just those who currently pay less than the Target Rent Level of a respective property, while those paying above the target figure will see no difference.

Rent payers who remain paying below the Target Rent Level after the increase could also face an additional charge of up to £2 per week to either completely or partly make up the difference.

Councillor David Griffiths, lead member for housing, said: “The recommendation is that council housing rent should increase by 2.7 per cent in line with Welsh Government guidelines.

“In order to encourage sustainable long term planning, Welsh Government has agreed a rent policy for a five year period.

“They have agreed an annual uplift of 2.7 per cent, which is made up of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 1.7 per cent plus one per cent each year for five years using the level of the CPI for the previous September each year.

“As part of the five year rent policy, social landlords will be expected to set a rent and service charges policy will ensure social housing remains affordable for the current and future tenants.

“In Wrexham rents are moving towards target rent levels. In moving towards those, traditional arrangements have been in place to minimise financial impacts on tenants.

“The rents that are (currently) below target rents will increase by 2.7 per cent plus a maximum of £2 per week or a lower amount if this achieves the target rent for 2020/21. For properties at or above target rent, there is no rent increase.”

Other charges, including garages, garage plots, warden charges, and travellers site plots will also increase by the same figure of 2.7 per cent.

All social landlords will now be required to prepare an annual assessment of affordability, cost efficiencies and demonstrate that homes represent value for money.

A monitoring form will also be issued by Welsh Government for social landlords to use in order to monitor compliance with their new five year rent policy.

Currently, it is estimated that 73 per cent of properties are at target rent, 3 per cent are above target rent. The remaining 24 per cent are presently below target rent and will be susceptible to the proposed rent increase.