Labour’s dubious claim that tenants oppose a cut in rent

lisahomThere was a startling claim recently from the Labour councillor Cllr Lisa Homan, the Cabinet Member for Housing, that tenants “agreed” with having their rent increased above inflation – and implying dismay at the Conservative  Government insistence on their being a modest rent cut to ease the cost of living pressure for council tenants.

Cllr Homan claims:

“Tenants agreed to a rent increase linked to a measure of inflation known as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) 3 +1% with an additional £1 rent increase for tenants who pay less than target rent and for tenants’ service charges to be increased in line with CPI only.”

Really? Just when did the majority of the 12,260 council tenants in our borough express this view.

Housing Director Kathleen Corbett replied:

“At the Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations’ Forum meeting on 23rd October 2014, tenants and residents were consulted on the options for rent policy from April 2015.”

Now it is true that any council tenant could have attended that meeting. However from the minutes I see that only 11 residents turned up. I know that Marie Thomas and Mathias Kulubya are leaseholders not tenants. Some of the remaining nine may be as well. Good for them turning up and participating but I don’t think they themselves would claim that any views they might have expressed proved that a majority of tenants oppose a rent cut.

Cllr Homan is completely out of touch.

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