The reduction of the rent ceiling for social housing “would leave fewer households in a situation of rental stress”

Senator Sam Mézec

Senator Sam Mézec wants a 10% reduction in the current policy, which consists of capping rents at 90% of the market rate, and seeks to modify the draft government plan.

“When the rents for social housing are set so close to the market rate, we can no longer really claim that it is social housing,” said Senator Mézec.

He explained that his party – Reform Jersey – had promised in his 2018 election campaign to change the rental policy for social housing, “because we thought setting rents so close to the market rate put tenants under stress. rental and may have contributed to inflation in the private sector. sector’.

In the report accompanying his amendment, Senator Mézec said the change would be achieved by reducing the financial return that social housing provider Andium Homes has offered to the Treasury, “so that their [Andium’s] planned development program will not be disrupted ”.

Andium agreed to a new rent freeze for its tenants this year, offering a one-time postponement of rent increases. Senator Mézec said: “As Minister of Housing, I have frozen Andium’s rents twice and introduced a cap on rent increases, which effectively violated current policy and de facto disconnected rents. current target of 90%. This means that we have a great opportunity to realign the rent policy now.

He added: “The effect of capping rents at 80% of the market rate would mean a prolonged rent freeze for hundreds of social housing tenants to allow their rents to fall in value over time. This would leave fewer households in a situation of rental stress.

The 2022-25 government plan is expected to be debated on December 14.

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