Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland, has approved a rent increase for Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) tenants which equates to around £3.64 a week. The new rate will come into effect on April 1, 2012.
The average weekly increase for tenants will be 6.6 per cent. This increase will bring the average Housing Executive rent to £58.76 a week, excluding rates, and will be around £19.73 a week less than the average rent for similar local authority accommodation in England where an 8 per cent increase will be applied.
The Housing Executive’s stock is regarded as the best maintained social housing in the UK, and rental income generated needs to be sufficient to maintain accommodation at the standard expected by tenants and allow for adequate investment in the stock.
Almost 80 per cent of Housing Executive tenants will not have to pay this additional sum as they are on housing benefit.
The Minister has also asked Housing Associations to impose lower rent increases to that agreed for NIHE to bring more conformity to social housing rent levels. The average weekly rent for a housing association tenant in Northern Ireland is £69.32.