Ministers agree to freeze social housing rents this year


Ministers have agreed to freeze social housing rents this year, in line with an earlier vote by MPs and calls in the senate to help tenants hit by the financial impact of coronavirus.

In total, the rent of 2.3 million homes will remain unchanged, whether owned by housing corporations, investors or privately, housing minister Kajsa Ollongren has told MPs.  Social housing has a rent of no more than €752 a month.

Social housing rents should have risen by inflation plus 1% in July and the freeze will save tenants an average of €6 a month, Ollongren said in her briefing.

Housing corporations and large investors will get €200m back in the form of a lower tax on their rental income, but measures still have to be agreed to compensate landlords with just a few homes, the minister said.

Housing corporation association Aedes said earlier that the freeze is unnecessary, as landlords have been generous in making deals with tenants and tenants who have not been hit financially by coronavirus will also benefit.

Research by Aedes published last year shows just 0.5% of their tenants had applied for help in paying their rent by the summer.

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