Agenda item

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) 30 Year Business Plan, Budget 2018/19, Rent Setting and Service Charges

To receive the joint report of the Executive Director of Place and Director of Finance Services presenting for approval the revenue estimates of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) for 2019/20, Business Plan Budget 2019/20 and rent setting and service charges.                                  (Report No: 163)

(Key Decision – Reference No: 4741)


Members are asked to note that this report was considered by Cabinet on 13 February 2019 and recommended to Council. 


Councillor Lemonides proposed and Councillor Needs seconded the report of the Executive Director Place and Director of Finance, on the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan Budget 19/20, Rent Setting and Service Charges.  (Report No: 237)




1.            That the recommendations in the report had been endorsed and approved for recommendation onto Council by Cabinet on 13 February 2019.


2.            Issues highlighted by Councillor Lemonides in presenting the report: 


a.    The report presents the Council’s 30 year business plan, the revenue budget for 2019/20 the five year capital programme, the right to buy one to one receipts programme and the service charges for 2019/20. 

b.    The report reflects changing government legislation allowing the borrowing cap to be lifted which will enable the Council to borrow  more money to provide affordable housing.

c.    The Council will also be investing £125m over the next 5 years in major works to stock on fire safety, decent homes and environmental improvements and £44.7m on estate renewal. 

d.    The government needs to listen more to reverse the roll out of universal credit, prevent homelessness and take away the need for food banks.

e.    Increases in heating charges were as a result of rising costs. 


3.            Issues highlighted by Councillor Smith in responding to the report:


a.    While being happy to support the report and agreeing with the methodology and investment proposals he had some concerns about the slow progress being made and the quality of the project management.

b.    To acknowledge that it was a Conservative Government which had lifted the borrowing cap.

c.    Concern that the administration should have asked for more grant from the GLA as £18m was significantly less than other London boroughs.

d.    Concern that more money should be being channelled to housing associations which had the expertise to provide housing, rather than for in house projects.

e.    Increased borrowing will reduce revenue. 


4.    Comments from the Majority Group:


a.    The Labour administration was investing in improving the lives of many residents by providing decent homes and investing in fire safety.  Estate renewal helped local people. 

b.    Improvements were being made on the estates and stock levels were increasing. 

c.    The new in house team would work with contractors to ensure a better service.  This would be cost neutral.  


5.            Comments from the Opposition Group:   


a.    Concern about the poor performance in housing over the last 8 years and the poor management and the poor standard of the work carried out on repairs.

b.    Concern about the increase in borrowing.   

c.    Concern about the many problems reported by residents living on the estates. 

d.    Concern about the delays to projects such as the small housing sites.                             


6.            The response from the Cabinet Member for Housing that the Council had received money from the GLA in grants and that the Council had never had to return any of their right to buy receipts.  That while he recognised the issues raised he highlighted that 70% of council homes were now up to decent homes standards after years of neglect. 


Following the debate, the recommendations in the report were agreed after votes with the following results. 


Recommendations 1-3


For:  40

Against:  14

Abstentions: 0


Recommendations 4-7


For:  54

Against:  0

Abstentions: 0




1.            To approve the HRA 30-Year Business Plan as set out in Appendix 1 to the report. 


2.            To approve the detailed HRA Revenue Budget for 2019/20


3.            To approve the 5 year HRA Capital Programme and Right to Buy One for One receipts programme and additional borrowing requirements to deliver about 2,3000 additional units.


4.            To note the social and affordable rent levels for about £10,1000 properties in 2019/20 and the introduction of the London Affordable Rent levels (only applicable to new properties included in the GLA programme)  2018/19 for HRA.


5.            To approve the level of service charges for 2019/20 for those properties receiving this service.


6.            To note the heating charges for 2019/20 for those properties on communal heating systems.


7.            To note the proposal to hold the weekly cost of private garages and note the increase garage costs for Council lets and parking bay rents.



Several members congratulated the Mayor on her year in office, saying that she had done a wonderful job. 

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