WINCHESTER councillors have pushed through an inflation-busting rent hike.

They voted overwhelmingly for an increase of 5.38 per cent |for affordable housing rents in the city for 2014/2015 |and housing bosses |insist the extra increase is completely unavoid-|able.

They say it is in line with a business plan agreed with the Government, where the rise consists of inflation plus 0.5 per cent, plus a £3 increase for more than half of its tenants.

Civic chiefs said the planned increases will bring the rents of council tenants more in line with tenants renting in the private |sector.

It will also help protect its housing plan which includes building 300 new homes over the next ten years, as well as good maintenance of existing stock.

This will be the fourth year of above-inflation increases.