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Over 60s offered rent reduction scheme

Girlings said the tenancies had the added benefit of no rent review until 2013. At the end of the two-year term, tenants will be given the opportunity to upgrade to an assured (life-long) tenancy.

Many of Girlings’s two-year fixed assured shorthold tenancies will be offered at rents that are in many cases up to 20% less than its assured tenancies.

An assured tenancy gives the tenant the right to live in the property for as long as they wish.

Girlings said it believed this move would make private renting a more affordable and viable alternative for many over 60s currently living in social housing who were faced with the prospect of having to find more rent as a consequence of the Government’s cuts.

Peter Girling, Chairman of Girlings Retirement Rentals, said: "The housing benefits cuts are totally irresponsible as far as retired people are concerned and have not been thought through.

"Pensioners have a fixed income and cannot go out and earn money to top up their rents – they have not been considered by the Government. Many of them will now be extremely worried about their future.

"In recent months rising inflation levels, food prices and VAT has seen the cost of living soar for the elderly. The low interest rates have diminished returns on any savings, so people cannot rely on the interest on savings to supplement their pensions either. These housing benefit cuts will come as a serious financial blow to the over 60s in receipt of housing benefits. We hope that by realigning our rents we are offering some of them an alternative housing option."

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