Edinburgh tenants urged to give views on plans for use of rental income
The City of Edinburgh Council is encouraging its housing tenants to take part in a housing rent consultation.
The local authority said the cost-of-living crisis is impacting on its costs to run housing services. It is now more expensive to ensure its homes meet statutory energy efficiency standards and to build new affordable homes.
A spokesperson said: “Over the next eight weeks we’re seeking tenants’ views on their priorities on how we spend the rent money we collect, what their views are on rent increases, and the financial challenges they face.
“We recognise that this year will be particularly challenging for all residents with rising inflation, spiralling prices, and the wider cost-of-living crisis. However, costs of providing landlord and housing services are increasing, and tenants previously told us they want us to invest in homes to make them more energy efficient and that they need more affordable homes. We have frozen rents for two years, now we need to know what tenants think about what we do next year.
“The Scottish Government has recently announced that council rents will remain frozen across Scotland until at least March 2023. At this stage it is unclear whether this will be extended beyond the spring.
“Depending on the outcome of this we will consider options for a rent increase in 2023-24. However, any change in rents must take into consideration tenant’s views and input.
“We would use any increase in rent to invest in homes to make them more energy efficient and help tenants save money, as well as improving the landlord service that we provide.
“We are looking forward to hearing from our tenants on housing and how the Council can further support them through the cost-of-living crisis.”
The consultation closes on 23 December 2022.
Councillor Jane Meagher, housing, homelessness and fair work convener, said: “Tenants and their views are at the heart of our housing priorities and goals. With the current cost-of living-crisis and rising economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever that our tenants have a say in how the Council goes forward with housing.
“I hope that this year’s consultation will allow the Council an informative and insightful view into how tenants would like rental income spent.
“We want to make sure rents are affordable for tenants whilst also being able to sustainably invest in the standard and quality of council homes for the future.
“I would urge all council tenants to participate in the consultation and make their voices heard.”