Support and financial advice during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Anyone who is experiencing financial difficulties, concerns or questions about their circumstances should seek out the right information and support as soon as they can.

We realise that some people who pay Council Tax and Rent may have their incomes affected as a result of the measures taken in response to COVID-19. That could result in them having difficulty in paying their Council Tax or Rent.

If you think you may have difficulty paying your Council Tax or Rent then please contact the Council as soon as possible on 03452 777 778 and we will discuss it with you.

We know that our phone lines will continue to be extremely busy so, if it is an option, please use our online services, including our Contact the Council webpage, which provides information on ways to get in touch and to access council services.

We also recognise that some people in Angus may now require to Access Welfare Entitlements, where they might not have needed to previously. You will find helpful information about Benefits and Money Advice on our website.

For more details on financial advice and assistance see the Angus Council News website.

See the Angus Council News general website for daily updates.

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Need Help with Your Finances? Call the New Financial Health Check advice service

Financialhealthcheck 1

A personalised financial advice service is now open for low income families and older people.

 The new Financial Health Check service is funded by the Scottish Government for the next two years.

Low income families and older people can get personalised advice on money matters, from reducing household energy costs to accessing grants such as the Best Start Grant and the School Clothing Grant. This will help people avoid the “poverty premium” of paying more for essential goods and services.

The Financial Health Check service is free and delivered over the phone (free telephone number 0800 085 7145) or face to face at Citizens Advice Bureaux.

For more details see the Scottish Government website

 

Rent Increase – Have your say!

Rent Increase. Have your say!*

Are you an Angus Council tenant? If so, we need your views on the proposed rent increase for 2019/20 and options on how your rent money will be spent.

All three options will keep your rent amongst the lowest in Scotland and well below what the Scottish local authority average for 2019/20 is likely to be.

Why are we proposing to increase the rent? 

We need to make sure the rent we receive is enough to pay for improvements needed to tenants’ homes and to help build new homes.

Rent increases will help protect housing services, build new homes and help us to continue to invest in our homes that meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard. Rent increases will also allow us to work towards meeting the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing by 2020.

The rent rise is partly based on the inflation measure of CPI (Consumer Price Index), as well as an additional set percentage of 1% which has been agreed between the council and tenant group. CPI+1% is the minimum rent increase required to allow us to deliver our current plans and manage inflationary rises. We need to increase the rent at least by inflation because that’s what it costs us to run the business. If we were to increase by more than 1% we could increase investment.

How is the rent increase measured?

Following feedback from tenants during the rent setting consultation last year, we have decided to use the July CPI figure of 2.5% rather than September CPI as used in the past. This allows us to outline true percentages, so that tenants have a clearer idea of how each option will affect their weekly rent charge. The council’s budget setting arrangements need to be in place for October 2018 so that everything is ready for the next financial year which starts in April 2019.

How we decide on the Increase

We’re carrying out a consultation to help tenants consider the rent increase options so they can clearly see how their rent money will be spent.

The results of this survey will be presented at the communities committee in February 2019. At this meeting the final decision on a rent increase for 2019/20 will be made.

 

Rent Increase – the options

The tenant Rent Setting Group has agreed three options which the members feel will bring benefits to tenants while keeping rents affordable.

 

The three options are:

Option 1 – Recommended by the Rent Setting Group Option 2 Option 3
Rent Level

3.5%

3.75%

4%

Capital spend (this is money invested to buy or upgrade fixed, physical, non-consumable assets, such as buildings and equipment) £18 million capital spend over the year Additional £850,000 capital to spend in addition to Option 1 Additional £1.7m capital to spend in addition to Option 1
How many new builds? 70 new homes over the year 70 new homes – any additional funds will be used to improve existing stock 70 new homes – any additional funds will be used to improve existing stock
What stock improvements can tenants expect? 450 Gas & Electric Heating installations;

600 properties receiving external wall insulation & energy efficiency measures;

700 bathrooms.

 

 

 

In addition to planned improvements listed in Option 1, for example:

39 Gas Heating installation (including loft insulation);

13 Electric Heating installations (including loft insulation);

37 Kitchen Replacements;

58 Bathroom Replacements;

7 External Wall Insulation;

42 Window & Door Replacements.

In addition to planned improvements listed in Option 1, for example:

78 Gas Heating installation (including loft insulation);

26 Electric Heating installations (including loft insulation);

73 Kitchen Replacements;

117 Bathroom Replacements;

14 External Wall Insulation;

84 Window & Door Replacements.

The tenant representatives recommend that tenants choose Option 1 (the lowest option), which would mean a rent rise of 3.5%. This option is considered to be the minimum level of income needed to deliver the current Business Plan. It, along with Scottish Government grant funding, would enable us to build 70 new homes in 2019-20, as well as these improvements to existing stock: 450 Gas & Electric Heating installations, 600 properties receiving external wall insulation & energy efficiency measures, 700 bathrooms.

The graph below shows the average weekly rents of Angus Council over the past five years compared to other neighboring local authorities (figures from Scottish Housing Regulator). All three options would keep rents affordable, keeping average rents in Angus amongst the lowest in Scotland, and well below what the Scottish local authority average for 2019/20 is likely to be.

rent increase graph

How the rent increase of 3.5% would affect average Angus Council weekly rents

Average weekly rent 2017/18 Average weekly rent 2018/19 Average weekly rent 2019/20
Bedsit

£51.47

£53.52

£55.40

1 Bedroom

£58.86

£61.21

£63.36

2 Bedrooms

£65.63

£68.25

£70.64

3 Bedrooms

£75.44

£78.46

£81.21

4+ bedrooms

£90.98

£94.62

£97.93

Angus Average

£64.64

£67.22

£69.58

 

To have your say on the rent options,

please complete the survey online by 30th September*.

 

*Please note this consultation is open to current Angus Council tenants only