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#Harlow Council welcomes Government decision to drop higher rents

22 Nov #Harlow Council welcomes Government decision to drop higher rents

Harlow Council has welcomed the decision that the Government’s previous plans to introduce higher rents for higher income Council tenants are to be dropped.

As part of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 the Government planned to introduce an income based rents policy also known as “pay to stay”. In a written Ministerial statement yesterday (21 November 2016), Gavin Barwell, MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning & Minister for London, said: “Since the summer, the Government has been reviewing this policy. We have listened carefully to the views of tenants, local authorities and others and as a result, we have decided not to proceed with a compulsory approach. Local authorities and housing associations will continue to have local discretion.”

The Government has however said that it will be introducing the mandatory use of fixed term tenancies for new tenants in Council housing which is also part of the Act.

Councillor Mark Wilkinson, Harlow Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing: “I am very pleased that the Government has listened to Councils like Harlow who had genuine concerns about the impact compulsory ‘pay to stay’ would have on both tenants and the local housing situation. We have been trying to raise as much awareness as possible about what the changes could mean for tenants so I am happy that pay to stay is no longer happening.”

“However we remain opposed to the introduction of mandatory use of fixed term tenancies for new Council tenants and we will continue to keep residents updated on this issue as and when we have more information.”