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Public sector rents to increase by 1.9%

Tenants to pay up to £2.01 extra each week

Those living in public sector housing will face a 1.9 per cent rise in rents from April this year.

It means tenants will have to pay between £1.19 and £2.01 a week extra, depending on the size of a property, to meet the below-inflation increase.

The Department of Infrastructure announced the change today (7 Jan), describing it as 'fair and reasonable for all parties'. 

The cost of providing public housing outstrips rental income, with government required to fund the difference with 'deficiency payments'.

It's estimated more than £6 million is needed every year to plug this gap in funding. 

This year's rent rise comes after all fifteen of the Island's housing authorities were consulted. 

Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK says 'balancing the cost of delivering the service, against the cost to tenants is difficult'.

According to Mr Harmer, the department is intending to move towards fixed rent-setting over a 4 or 5-year period.

However, when asked last year by the department whether they'd support such a change, there wasn't 'sufficient support' among local authorities to move to fixed-rents. 

Those who have rents paid through benefits won't be affected by the rise, and tenants who are struggling are reminded help is available through the Social Security Division at Treasury.

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