A report from the Executive Director Place is attached. (Key decision – reference number 4747)
(8.40 – 8.45 pm)
Councillor Dino Lemonides (Cabinet Member for Housing) introduced the report of the Executive Director of Place (No.63) outlining funding opportunities for building council homes for Londoners.
1. The funding opportunities were highlighted.
2. Bids for additional funding had to be submitted by 30 September 2018. It was hoped that results would be known by November and a further Cabinet report would then be presented.
3. Members welcomed the opportunity for the Council to bid and looked forward to hearing back on the results of bidding.
Alternative Options Considered: NOTED, the alternative options that had been considered as listed below and outlined in full in section 4 of the report:
· Not seeking the additional borrowing headroom
· Not seeking the additional grant
· Not seeking the right to buy flexibility
DECISION: The Cabinet agreed to
Additional HRA Headroom
1. Approve the council submitting a bid to the GLA requesting an increase in the HRA borrowing headroom by no more than £150m.
2. Note and approve the impact on the 30-year HRA Business Plan and Loan repayments of increasing the HRA headroom of no more than £150m
3. Note that final determination of the council’s overall revised indebtedness position (i.e. the Prudential Indicators) would be submitted to Council for agreement, once the position on the funding bids was known.
Affordable Housing Grant
4. Approve the Building Council Homes for London Affordable Housing grant bid for up to £30m on affordable housing schemes to be confirmed.
5. Delegate the approval to enter into the GLA Grant Funding agreement as outlined in 3 above to the Executive Director of Resources in consultation with the Executive Director of Place and the Cabinet Member for Housing.
6. Note that, once the outcome of the bids was known, a report outlining the programme for both funding opportunities would be submitted to Cabinet for approval.
Right to Buy Ring Fence Offer
7. Approve the GLA Right to Buy Ring Fence offer delegating entering the proposal as outlined in Appendix 1 to the Executive Director of Resources in consultation with the Director of Law and Governance.
8. That Cabinet delegates to the Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement in consultation with the Executive Director of Place and, the Executive Director of Resources, and Cabinet Member for Housing, to authorise the transfer of sites from the General Fund to the HRA in accordance with the Property Procedure Rules and undertaking appropriate Due Diligence. Such delegation was only in the event of the council being successful in securing an increase in the HRA Borrowing Debt cap.
Reason: Along with other local authorities the council had been asking central government to increase the HRA debt cap to enable the council to borrow more money to deliver good quality affordable homes replacing those lost through the Right to Buy programme. This funding opportunity would enable the council to build more council homes. Not entering the Right to Buy Ring Fenced Offer would reduce the opportunity to deliver new schemes using Right to Buy receipts. This offer from the GLA extends the time the council must spend receipts and any interest that was returned. Affordable Housing Grant gave the local authority the ability to maximise new supply and unlocking extra homes on the key sites in the council’s programme.
(Key decision – reference number 4747)