Statement on Andium Homes Rent Increases
In our 2018 manifesto we pledged to introduce a rent freeze on the social housing sector and research and develop a fair rent regulation system for all sectors. As Minister for Housing and Children, our Party Leader, Senator Sam Mézec was able to introduce a rent freeze for Andium properties in 2018. While this freeze was in place Senator Mézec introduced a cap on the level at which Andium rents can be raised to ensure that they can never be raised by more than 4%. The purpose of this was to provide some level of safeguard to tenants against higher increases.
Reform Jersey firmly believes that the current rents policy (which was adopted by the States of Jersey in 2013 and was opposed by Reform Jersey members at the time) is flawed, and leads to the cost of social housing being unaffordable, particularly for those people that are only partially supported by Income Support, or who find themselves just above the Income Support threshold. We acknowledge that the measures undertaken to date do not go far enough, and that there is still urgent work required to resolve the issue of the high cost of rent within both the social housing sector, and the private rental market.
Senator Mézec has requested a wholesale review of rents policy, including the “90% market rate rule”, and will receive a report on this early in the new year. This issue cuts across several Ministerial portfolios, including Social Security, and Treasury and Resources. Any measures to improve the current situation will require support across government to be successful. As Minister for Housing, Senator Mézec will be ensuring that proposals are brought forward as an urgent priority so that meaningful action can take place within the first half of 2020.
Reform Jersey remains committed to working for a fairer system that puts the needs of tenants first. Our elected States Members will be bringing further propositions to the States Assembly in the new year to address what we consider to be a housing crisis on the Island.