City council approves compensation package for tenants whose homes are demolished (From Andover Advertiser)
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City council approves compensation package for tenants whose homes are demolished
4:22pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in Winchester
CIVIC chiefs have approved a new policy to compensate Winchester council tenants whose homes are demolished as part of new developments.
A city council housing committee rubber stamped a financial package at a meeting on Wednesday (Sept 18).
Tenants will received a one-off statutory ‘Home Loss’ payment of £4,700 while the council will also cover moving expenses to a new home, whether permanent or temporary.
Displaced tenants will also get priority on alternative housing and will be offered a guaranteed place in the new development should they choose to stay in the area.
It comes after housing bosses dropped plans to demolish and replace homes in Milland Road, Highcliffe, earlier this year after a resident complained.
Andrew Palmer, head of new homes delivery, said: “This is partly in response to a reaction from councillors that our offer to tenants was not very clear. We are attempting to set out the whole package both financially and in terms of relocation.”
But tenants face rents of 80 per cent market value in their new homes, regardless of what they paid before, which caused concern among some councillors.
Cllr Jane Rutter said: “We are asking people to move into a smaller house in the same place as presumably they would not want to move if they had children in school. But then we are telling them they have to pay more rent when their income may not have gone up.
“I think asking them to pay higher rents is not going to encourage people to support this. We need to make it as fair, easy and inexpensive as possible.”
But Mr Palmer said new homes would be built to better sustainability standards and cost less in energy bills.
Cllr Tony Coates, portfolio holder for housing, added: “The council’s policy is that any new build schemes have to ‘wash their face’ within the 30-year plan period.
“There will be some schemes where rent is at 80 per cent which is in line with current coalition government policy.”
No current new build schemes include demolition of existing homes.
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