A report from the Executive Director – Place and Executive Director – Resources is attached. (Key decision – reference number 5008)
Councillor Mary Maguire (Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement) introduced the report of the Executive Director – Place and Executive Director – Resources (No.193) setting out the proposed HRA 30-year Business Plan, the detailed HRA Revenue Budget for 2020/21, the ten-year Capital Programme and Right to Buy (RTB) one for one receipts programme (2020/21 to 2024/25).
1. The key changes for housing since the 2019/20 rent setting report as summarised in section 3.3 of the report including the creation of a new 10-year development programme of 3,500 units overall including updated GLA and right to buy programme and borrowing requirement.
2. That the report detailed the overarching assumptions, the base budget, efficiency savings, financing and programming of works. In 2018 the Government had scrapped the HRA borrowing cap to enable more affordable homes to be built. A financial framework had been implemented to ensure the business plan remained financially viable and within affordable limits.
3. That the programme included major works to the housing stock; and, estate renewal and development as detailed in the report. In summary the report set out the Council’s plans for building new affordable homes and investing in the Council’s current housing stock.
4. That the number of over 65-year olds was increasing in the Borough. Adult Social Care and Housing were working together to consider specialised housing options as part of the housing developments coming forward.
5. Members praised the proposals for addressing climate change and affordable warmth through the Ground Source heat pump strategy, as outlined in the report. The proposed charging mechanism for leaseholders was noted as set out in section 3.87 of the report.
6. The detailed recommendations set out in section 2 of the report and reflected in the decisions below.
7. The Council’s ambitious commitment regarding housing provision in the Borough as set out in the report. This report should be considered in the light of the recently agreed Housing Growth Strategy.
Alternative Options Considered: Annual efficiency savings of 5% were being implemented across various departments to ensure a healthy level of balances were held and the business plan remained sustainable.
DECISION: The Cabinet agreed to
1. Recommend to full Council to approve the HRA 30-Year Business Plan shown in Appendix 1 of the report.
2. Recommend to full Council to approve the detailed HRA Revenue Budget for 2020/21
3. Note the 10-year HRA Capital Programme and additional borrowing requirements to deliver 3,500 additional units.
4. Note the social and affordable rent levels for circa.10,100 properties in 2020/21 and note the London Affordable Rent levels applicable for new homes to new tenants.
5. Approve the level of service charges for 2020/21 for those properties receiving this service.
6. Approve the new pricing structure for Community Halls and Garages as outlined in paragraph 3.46 of the report.
Note changes to the Landlord consent process and
introduction of tiered application fees for 2020/21
8. Approve increasing the Under-Occupation incentive to support the downsizing strategy as shown in paragraph 3.66 of the report. In addition, delegate to the Director of Housing and Regeneration to increase the incentive aiming for flexible, bespoke packages that meet the needs of vulnerable tenants on a case by case basis by up to £2,000 per case.
9. Approve the Leaseholder Ground Source Heat Pump charging proposal outlined in paragraph 3.78 of the report.
10. Note the change in Thames Water billing, from the Council collecting the charges to Thames Water directly charging residents outlined in paragraph 3.88 of the report.
11. Note the heating charges for 2020/21 for those properties on communal heating systems.
Reason: The Council must comply with the law in setting its rents for Council tenants. Setting an annual budget, capital programme and balanced HRA 30-year Business Plan were also legal requirements Increasing rent and service charges would allow the Council to provide new and better services to tenants, and the charges set out in the report were supported by the Council’s Housing Board and Customer Voice (the Tenant and Leaseholder representative body).
(Key decision – reference number 5008)