‘Social housing tenants need to be protected from rent increases’ – Ruane

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Sunday, June 9th, 2013
Sinn Féin MLA Caitriona Ruane has said recently released figures revealing housing association rents have risen by over 60% over the past 10 years, twice as much as the Housing Executive, shows that social housing tenants need to be protected. Speaking to Newry Times, Ruane said, “With a review of housing structures imminent and concerns about alignment of rents, we need to ensure that those in Housing Executive homes who enjoy lower rents don’t fall foul of those who argue for rent increases as a way of raising finance. “In the past year alone Association rents rose by a further 5% so there is a real fear amongst tenants that they will be forced to pay increasingly exorbitant rents for their property if they move from the Housing Executive. “The Minister needs to ensure that social housing rents are protected so that those most in need are protected. There seems to be a shift in recent times to move rents closer to that of the private sector, which has people paying top ups over and above their housing benefit to ensure they have a home. Ruane added, “The Minister needs to spell out his position on this issue. He needs to ensure that those living in the social housing sector have their rents protected or kept at inflationary rises.”
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