A report from the Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services and Director of Health, Housing and Adult Social Care is attached. This sets out the proposed detailed budget for the Housing Revenue Account for 2015/16. It also updates the 30 year HRA business plan and details the plan for the next 5 years to 2019/20. (Key decision – reference number 3958)
(8.30 – 8.35 pm)
Councillor Ahmet Oykener (Cabinet Member for Housing and Estate Regeneration) introduced the report of the Director of Health, Housing and Adult Social Care and Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services (No.159) setting out the proposed detailed budget for the Housing Revenue Account for 2015/16.
1. That the average rent increase for Enfield tenants would be 2.2% (an average price increase of £2.21 per week), this was in line with Government guidance and Enfield Council Rent Policy. Members noted how Enfield compared with other Boroughs, as set out in the report.
2. The level of proposed service charges for 2015/16 as detailed in the report.
3. The proposed heating charges as set out in the report. There would be an overall 10% decrease in communal heating charges for both gas and electricity costs in 2015/16 (appendix 3 of the report referred).
4. The current position with regard to the HRA 30 year business plan as addressed in detail in the report. The business plan remained balanced. A key issue for the HRA business plan was the increase in the number of right to buys. There were estimated to be 200 in 2014/15 and a similar number were projected for 2015/16. Section 11 of the report set out the implications for Members’ consideration, as highlighted by Councillor Oykener at the meeting.
Alternative Options Considered: NOTED that two alternatives had been considered; these were not increasing rents in line with the Government guidance and increasing rents above this guidance. These two options had both been discounted. Neither of these options was in line with the Council’s rent policy either which follows government guidelines. If rents were not increased this would mean significant loss of income and would undermine the business plan in future years.
RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that
1. The detailed revenue estimates of the Housing Revenue Account for 2015/16 be approved.
2. The rents be increased in line with Government guidance and Enfield Council Rent Policy. This would result in an average increase of 2.2% for Enfield tenants.
3. The level of service charges as set out in Paragraph 6.1 of the report for those properties receiving the services be agreed for 2015/16.
4. The proposals for increases in other income as detailed in Appendix 2 of the report be agreed for 2015/16.
5. That the Temporary Accommodation rents as set out in Appendix 6 of the report be agreed for 2015/16 and that the authority to review in the event of any changes be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Housing and Estate Regeneration and the Director of Health, Housing and Adult Social Care and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services.
6. That the total HRA capital programme of £52.7m be agreed for 2015/16 and a further four years.
7. That authority should be delegated to the Cabinet Member for Housing and Estate Regeneration and the Director of Health, Housing and Adult Social Care for approve tenders for Decent Homes and General Works.
Reason: In view of the implications of the alternatives mentioned in paragraph 20 of the report and detailed above, it was recommended to increase rents in line with the Council’s rent policy and Government guidance.
(Key decision – reference number 3958)