A report from the Chief Executive and Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services will be circulated as soon as possible. (Key decision – reference number 4586)
(7.15 – 7.20 pm)
Councillor Ahmet Oykener (Cabinet Member for Housing and Housing Regeneration) introduced the report of the Chief Executive and Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services (No.146) setting out the proposed HRA 30-Year Business Plan, the detailed HRA Revenue Budget for 2018/19, the five-year Capital Programme and Right to Buy (RTB) One for One Receipts programme (2018/19 to 2022/23).
1. That this was the annual Housing Revenue Account (HRA) report covering: the HRA 30-Year Business Plan; the HRA Budget 2018/19 and five-year Capital Programme; Rent setting 2018/19 for HRA properties; proposed service charges 2018/19; and, heating charges.
2. An additional recommendation to the report, referred to in paragraph 15.2 of the report, and detailed in recommendation 8 to Council below. Cabinet was asked to agree to delegate authority to the Cabinet Member for Housing and Housing Regeneration and the Chief Executive to approve tenders for Major Works in order that contracts could be let and works carried out more efficiently. This delegation had been in place for several years.
3. That the details of the HRA 30-year business plan were set out in the report. Resources would be tightly constrained; with an assumption that the Council would borrow £32m over the next 2 years leaving an £8m headroom. Members’ noted the risks and sensitivities to the plan including additional works due to the Grenfell fire including the decision to install sprinkler systems in all high-rise stock totalling £8.4m and spending Right to Buy receipts, as detailed in the report. The Council had written to the Government seeking funding for these additional works; no response had been received to date.
4. That within the HRA budget 2018/19 several services were being reviewed; efficiency savings of £333k had so far been identified with further savings expected during 2018/19, as outlined in the report.
5. That over the next five years, the Council was proposing to spend a total of £237m on HRA capital schemes, detailed in the report, which would include major works to stock and estate renewal.
6. That HRA rents would go down by 1% again in 2018/19 and 2019/20 but from April 2020 the Government had agreed that rents could be increased by CPI plus 1%, this would enable the Council to have the ability to develop new affordable homes.
7. The proposals for HRA service charges 2018/19 for tenants and leaseholders as set out in the report. The phase one review had been completed. Service charges had been discussed with the Customer Voice and the Housing Board.
8. The proposed changes to heating charges as detailed in paragraph 14 of the report.
Alternative Options Considered: NOTED
1. Since the Government implemented the Social Housing Policy which implemented a rent reduction of 1% the Council’s income had considerably reduced. This created a shortfall in the business plan and other income sources had been maximised where possible. A number of different options had been considered around budget levels required both for 2018/19 and in the medium term.
2. Efficiency ... view the full minutes text for item 7