The Housing spokesperson for Portsmouth Labour has proposed an alternative plan as part of the council housing budget setting process for 2022/23.

Portsmouth City Council owns over 14,000 residential properties across the city as well as Leigh Park and WecockFarm. Those homes bring in over £80million each year in rent and charges and it falls to local councillors to decide how that money should be spent.

This year’s budget occurs in a context of spiralling household bills and a cost of living crisis. It’s for that reason Portsmouth Labour proposed an alternative budget which would have seen funding redistributed back into the pockets of council tenants.

Speaking at the meeting of the Housing portfolio in January 2022, Labour councillor Cal Corkery put forward a set of budget proposal which would have seen:

A reduction in the rent increase from the proposed level of 4.1% to a more reasonable rate of 3.1%
The creation of a hardship fund ring-fenced for supporting council tenants on low incomes and in need of additional help to finance essential living costs
A cap on the cash increase of those tenants living in new build and buy-back properties with higher rents, on ‘affordable rent’ tenancies, so they don’t pay any extra in additional rent than those living in traditional social rent tenancies

Councillor Cal Corkery said: “Our alternative budget would have used a fraction of the £23million housing account reserves to put cash back into the pockets of council tenants on the lowest incomes. Unfortunately our proposals were not accepted by the Lib Dem Cabinet Member for Housing but we will continue to do everything in our power to advocate for those residents in greatest need.”

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