Minister hopeful that social-housing rent cap can be cut to 80%

THE Housing Minister is ‘hopeful’ that social-housing rents can be capped at up to 80% of the market rate.

Housing Minister Russell Labey
Housing Minister Russell Labey

Deputy Russell Labey was due to meet Treasury Department representatives yesterday to discuss a drop in Andium rents, which are currently set at 90% of the market rate. He added that the recently announced rent freeze for 2022 meant no Andium tenants were paying 90% due to changes in inflation rates.

Andium agreed a further freeze for its tenants this year, offering a one-off deferral of rent increases following a similar cap in 2021. The company made the announcement, as it said that many Islanders were still dealing with the effects of the pandemic.

During an Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel hearing, Deputy Labey said: ‘We have promised to scope as best we can a model to make the social-rent policy up to 80% of market rents, not the up to 90% as it is currently.’

He added he was ‘very hopeful’ that he would ‘have something to bring to the Assembly’ once further discussions with the Treasury Department had taken place.

Sue Duhamel, a government policy director and member of the Housing Policy Development Board, told the panel that social rents were currently their main focus and area of concern.

The panel, which is chaired by Constable Mike Jackson, is scrutinising the recently announced Government Plan, and will be holding further hearings, including with Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis and Environment Minister John Young.

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