Continued investment in tenants’ homes as Cabinet agree 2024/25 housing budget
Cabinet has agreed the Council’s housing budget for 2024/25, which will see funding raised to keep up investment in residents’ homes, heating charges kept the same, and services for tenants underpinned.
From April 1st, 2024, rent and service charges will increase by 7.7% . The increase will see a 2-bed household pay around £10 more each week. For more than 70% of residents the increase will be covered by their housing benefit.
Every penny raised will be reinvested back into residents’ homes as the Council continues its work to improve services for tenants and leaseholders.
While £10.5m will be raised and reinvested, austerity-driven government policy since 2016 has left the Council’s housing budget £30M worse off each year and without £135M that could have been invested in residents’ homes.
Camden’s housing is entirely self-financing, not a penny from central government. Income from a two bed is £9,000 against a cost of management and maintenance of £13,000 and, while we support new government regulations, they have cost millions with no extra investment. Across London councils are facing a £600million housing blackhole.
Increasing the charges that our tenants pay is not a decision that we take lightly. But, after years of mandated rent reductions by the government and soaring inflation, councils with large housing stocks like ours have been stretched to the limit. Our housing budget has lost out on a potential £135m that we could have invested in tenants’ homes.
The government has left councils around the country with a housing blackhole with no choice but to ask more of tenants.
This budget will bring in £10.5m, which will help but it is not enough to do everything that we would like to do for our residents, or as quickly as we would like. It does mean that we can maintain our services, and every penny will be reinvested back into tenants’ homes and the services we provide.
We know that a rent increase may be difficult to manage for some of our tenants. My message to residents is that we are here to help, and we will ensure that you get the help you need to make your payments.
We are committed to keeping your homes safe, dry, and free of damp and mould, and we are taking urgent action – we have invested £200m in fire safety improvements and set up a dedicated team to tackle damp and mould that has cut daily mould reports by 88%.
In the face of continuing austerity, we will continue to do all we can to set the high standards that residents deserve, and make sure tenants and residents are at the heart of decision making and can hold the council to account for the services we provide.
Support for residents
A wide range of support is readily available to residents who are concerned about money, debt, their energy use, or bills. This includes access to:
- Camden’s Money Advice Service, including a Better Off Calculator that residents can use to see the support that they may be eligible for.
- Camden’s Home Energy Advice team, who can provide expert advice on warming your home and managing fuel debt.
- A £2million cost-of-living crisis fund.
- A Council Tax Support Scheme that provides more than 22,000 households with either full or partial council tax support.
Residents can contact their Neighbourhood Housing Officer for more information on the support that is available to them, visit Camden.gov.uk/cost-of-living-support, or call 020 7974 4444.