Reducing council house rent could threaten affordable housing prospects in South Cambridgeshire

Cllr Mark Howell of South Cambridgeshire District Council

Cllr Mark Howell of South Cambridgeshire District Council - Credit: Archant

National plans to reduce rent paid by council tenants could mean 1,000 new council houses in South Cambridgeshire would be scrapped due to a lack of funds.

Under the government’s plans, rents for council tenants would fall by one per cent next year, which council bosses have described as a ‘backward step’ as the income would have been invested straight back into building new homes.

The plans to invest millions into housing would have seen the biggest building programme of new houses in the area for two generations.

Under the proposed plan, the council will collect £12 million less rent over the next four years and a £134 million reduction over the next 30 years, making it unfeasible to make the planned investment in new homes.

Councillor Mark Howell, responsible for housing at the district council, was joined by South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen on the visit to talk face-to-face with housing minister Brandon Lewis.

He said: “Although on the face of it a one per cent cut to rent for our tenants could be a good thing, it is in fact a backward step as it takes away our ability to invest in high quality new council houses for future generations. We will continue to work with our local MPs and impress on the government the need for the freedom and funding to deliver vital social housing in the area.”