THERE was a surprise for Council tenants as the SNP and Lib Dem administration put forward a motion to impose a 4.6 per cent rent increase - a rise lower than anticipated.
Housing officers had recommended to councillors an increase of 6.6 per cent this year, but the administration’s proposed rise of 4.6 per cent was approved at last Thursday’s meeting.
Rents and service charges for garage sites, launderettes, caretaking, heating, garden care and hostels wil also go up by 4.6 per cent, but there will be no change to the annual charge for lock-up garages.
Councillor Brian Goodall, chairman of the housing and communities committee, said: “It’s vital that we take full account of the circumstances in our communities and I believe our motion does that.”
Seconding the administration’s motions, Councillor Donald Macgregor said the Council’s housing rents ‘remain below the Scottish average’.
He added: “The administration have decided to keep rent increases more affordable and will continue our commitment to ensure stock is brought up to housing quality standards.”
Labour councillors supported the lower than inflation rise, however they spoke out against plans to withdraw the £36,000 Housing Initiatives Budget (HIB) which has historically been used to fund small projects.
Labour Cllr David Ross wished the HIB to be retained.
The administration’s motion for the 4.6 per cent increase was passed by 37 votes to 18.