Questions and answers
How many people will be affected by the proposed change?
Approximately 52% of our tenants will pay less rent under the proposed changes*. Around 42% of tenants will have a rent increase but it will still be affordable. Roughly 6% will see no change to their rent.
*These estimates are based on the most recent tenant income information from June 2019. It does not account for income changes since then, particularly any changes related to employment status under the COVID-19 situation.
What should I include as my income for my rent calculation?
You should include all household income for anyone over the age of 18 from wage/salary/benefits, including any Accommodation Supplement you currently receive. You do not have to include other special purpose payments (i.e. disability allowance, winter energy payment etc.).
Please note, If your rent changes, the Accommodation Supplement you receive from MSD may also change.
If the Council decides to change how my rent is set, when will this happen?
If the Council agrees to go ahead with the rent-setting proposal when they meet in August 2020. , we will start to put in place all the changes. Your rent will change on the anniversary of your tenancy agreement. Any increases to rents will not take place until after the Government lifts the freeze on rent increases.
Does this proposed change mean some tenants won’t be able to live in Council housing?
Everyone who qualifies to be a City Housing tenant right now will still be housed – that does not change.
If the Council agrees to change how we set rent, our housing staff will work with any tenant who faces particular challenges.
Can't we keep the rent system as it is?
We could do this. But it means some lower-income tenants will continue to pay more rent than is fair and equitable. Charging income-related rent means lower-income tenants will have more money available to spend on basic living costs than they do right now.
Why are you proposing these changes now?
In mid-2018 Councillors approved the development of a new rent setting scheme . This was in line with the Council’s vision of ‘all Wellingtonians well-housed’. We are now proposing the new draft Social Housing Policy – including the proposed rent-setting scheme – to Councillors following the local government elections in October 2019, so they can make decisions.
How do you know the proposed new rents will be affordable?
Many tenants will pay the same or less rent if the proposal goes ahead.
City Housing staff work with tenants to make sure they are accessing all the financial support they are entitled to.
How will tenants’ rent be calculated under the new proposed system?
We will calculate rent based on the combined gross income (before tax) of each household member aged 18 or over. Then we will apply a rent discount based on that income. Those on lower incomes will receive a rent discount of up to 40% of what they would pay on the open market, depending on their income.
Those on higher incomes will receive a smaller discount or in some cases they will pay the full market rent for their home, depending on their income. Right now, all tenants receive a 30% discount on their rent, regardless of their income.