2023/24 Council Housing Survey

Closed 23 Dec 2022

Opened 1 Nov 2022

Feedback updated 5 Apr 2023

We asked

Every year the City of Edinburgh Council’s housing rent consultation gathers tenant views on their experience of the housing service and presents options for setting the next year’s rent levels. 

Tenants were presented with three rent increase options this year: 0%, 2.5% and 5%. The consultation explained the impact the different options would have on delivery of key commitments, including meeting Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing 2 (EESSH2) and our ability to build new homes.

In addition to these this year we also asked more detailed questions on cost of living difficulties and what issues were most affecting our tenants.

You said

We received 1,040 responses for the 2023/24 consultation – 40 through our online survey and 1,000 through a dedicated telephone survey of randomly selected tenants asking the exact same questions as in the online survey.

Just over half (53%) of the respondents supported a rent freeze for a third year in a row. Almost 70% of those who voted for a rent freeze get help with paying their rent through benefits. Therefore, any increase in rents would be covered through a proportionate increase in benefits (assuming tenants’ circumstances have not changed). 47% of tenants agreed that rents should be increased in 2023/24, with almost a third (31%) of respondents voting for a 2.5% increase and 16% supported a 5% increase.

Around 10% of tenants felt that rents were not value for money. 64% of respondents were aware of the previous two-year rent freezes.

35% of tenants surveyed said they were finding rent more difficult to pay for. Around a third (31%) sought additional help, with over half of those tenants speaking to their housing officer. The second and third most popular places for support were the Council’s Income Maximisation Service and Citizens Advice Bureau.

The majority of respondents highlighted that food (70%) and energy bills (77%) were becoming increasingly difficult to pay for. 23% of tenants said they had been consciously reducing their energy usage to save money. 31% of tenants also commented that their home quickly becomes cold once their heating has been turned off.

We did

The Housing Account (HRA) Budget Strategy 2023/24 - 2032/33 was considered by City of Edinburgh Council at its budget meeting on 23 February 2023.

After two years of freezes, any increase in rents would be a positive step in getting the business plan to a position to be able to deliver Council commitments, whilst keep rents affordable and any increases well below inflation.

Council agreed a 3% rent increase in 2023/24 and noted that based on 3% rent increase per annum over the next ten years, around 86% of existing homes could be brought up to Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH2) over the lifetime of the business plan and that c.2,400 new social rented homes could be delivered. Council also agreed to set up a Tenant Hardship Fund to support tenants experiencing financial hardship, including those who cannot access benefits.

Results updated 3 Feb 2023

The rent consultation period has now ended and we would like to thank everyone that took part.

We use the responses to help us plan our investment priorities and Council housing budget for the following year. The rent consultation results and draft 2023/24 housing budget will be reported as part of the Housing Account (HRA) Budget Strategy 2023-24 to 2032/33 and considered by City of Edinburgh Council at its budget meeting on 23 February 2023, where the rent increase for 2023/24 will be determined.


Every year we ask Council tenants for their views on how their rent should be spent. We use the responses to help us plan our investment priorities and Council housing budget for the following year.  This year, with the cost of living crisis on everyone’s mind, we’d like to find out more the financial challenges you’re facing and how best to support you.  

The cost of living crisis is also making it more expensive to run our housing services.  It’s now costing more to bring our Council homes up to meet statutory energy efficiency standards and to build new affordable homes. If we’re not going to increase rents then we’ll not be able to achieve all our plans and will have to prioritise investment. You can read more about this in the Housing Revenue Account Budget Strategy 2023/24 report that was discussed at the Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Committee on 29 September 2022. 

The consultation runs until 23 December 2022. We look forward to reading your thoughts and feedback.

Thank you.


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