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Tenant "might have to sell car" to deal with sudden social rent rise


Tuesday 14 March 2023

Tenant "might have to sell car" to deal with sudden social rent rise

Tuesday 14 March 2023

A 51-year-old Jersey Homes Trust tenant has said he "might have to sell" his car after being told his rent would be going up 9% with just three weeks' notice.

The Jersey Homes Trust – which owns and manages 839 homes across 24 estates – recently began contacting tenants to inform them of the increase, which is below inflation at 12.7%.

The Trust's Chair, Philip Le Cornu, explained that the housing provider, which froze rents due to covid in 2020 and 2021, receives "no government funding, and ongoing refurbishment and upgrades of our properties are funded through rental income."

Reform Jersey said news of the rises in a short time period during a cost-of-living crisis had come as a "shock" to many of its constituents, who had appealed to the party for help.

"As an accredited social-housing provider, the Jersey Homes Trust is obligated to meet high standards of care for its tenants, and the government has a special interest in working with the trust to help safeguard the wellbeing of the hundreds of Islanders who live in JHT properties.

"We are disappointed that more notice was not provided to tenants of this rent increase and, given how substantial it is, that no work appears to have been done with the Housing Advice Service to communicate with tenants about what rights they have, including what potential entitlement they may have for financial support through Income Support."

Among those to have been affected was Richard Hardy (51), who said that he "might have to sell [his] car", which he bought only last year, as the "astronomical" increase would see his rent go up by £116 per month.

Another resident, mother-of-two Sonja Meacock, said: "I'm not sure what to do. I can't afford to stay in Jersey and I can't afford to leave."

She added that she wasn't alone in this: "There are a lot of people who are not sure where they are going to get the extra money from."

Reform Jersey has written to the Ministers for Housing and Social Security to urge them to take action, and has also requested a meeting with Jersey Homes Trust representatives to discuss a way forward.

Reform Jersey's letter...

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Posted by SimonBevens28 on
I sold my car a while back, and now use the bus or walk everywhere. Not only am I fitter but I also have saved - no car payments, no insurance, no petrol, greener planet. Just need to plan ahead a bit for shops and appointments. I can't control my rent but an increase forced my hand, and it has worked out well.
Posted by Dave Mathews on
What has gone wrong with this Island? Social Housing rentals that are supposed to be 'not for profit' still raised by 9%? Young people leaving. Job vacancies piling and now we are told that some developments cannot be taken forward due to drainage issues. The way it is going, this Island is heading for big economic problems.
Posted by Ian Houiellebecq on
My 2 children are renting in the private sector and pay £1500 for a 1 bed flat and £1850 for a 2 bed flat. Social housing is still a lot cheaper.
Posted by Keith Marsh on
The actual rise, is fair ~ however the very short notice does not help the people that need to re-budget. Jersey Homes Trust should think more.
Posted by Michael Van Neste on
Good point
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