Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced a freeze in Housing Executive rents in order to support residents in the face of the cost-of-living crisis.
Announcing the move, the minister said: “As Communities Minister my priority is to support people, particularly the most vulnerable, who are facing soaring fuel and household bills.
“So today I am announcing that I will freeze Housing Executive rent levels for 2022/23 so as to not place any further financial burden on individuals and families trying hard each day to make ends meet.
“This follows the recent success in closing the loopholes in welfare mitigation schemes meaning top-up payments will be available to more people who currently have their benefits reduced because of the ‘bedroom tax’ and benefit cap. I have also announced a £200 payment to support 280,000 eligible people in meeting their energy costs.”
The Minister continued: “I have set out the biggest reform of social housing in 50 years. At the heart of this is the revitalisation of the Housing Executive. I am committed to that agenda as it is all about delivering better outcomes for tenants including improving the quality of their homes. Right now, tenants need security and a freeze in their rents will provide a bit of stability on an important housing cost in an uncertain climate.”
The rent freeze applies only to Housing Executive tenants. The Minister called on Housing Associations to also consider the financial pressures tenants are facing when considering their rent levels.
The Minister added: “Every household, including all those across the social housing sector, are facing unprecedented living costs. While I appreciate rent levels are an issue for each Housing Association Board, I would call on them to be mindful of the times we are in when considering rent levels.”