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Decision details

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Medium Term Financial Strategy

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

Approval of latest financial assumptions for the HRA financial forecasts, of any in year budgetary changes for the HRA and of the approach to setting the budget for 2022/23.

Decision:

Matter for Decision

The HRA Medium Term Financial Strategy provided an opportunity to review the assumptions incorporated as part of the longer-term financial planning process, recommending any changes in response to new legislative requirements, variations in external national and local economic factors and amendments to service delivery methods, allowing incorporation into budgets and financial forecasts at the earliest opportunity.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing (Part 1)

  i.  Approved the Housing Revenue Account Medium Term Financial Strategy attached to the officer’s report, to include all proposals for change in:

·  Financial assumptions as detailed in Appendix B of the document.

·  2021/22 and future year revenue budgets, resulting from changes in financial assumptions and the financial consequences of changes in these and the need to respond to unavoidable pressures and meet new service demands, as introduced in Section 5, detailed in Appendix D and summarised in Appendices G (1) and G (2) of the document.

  ii.  Approved delegated authority be given to the Strategic Director to be in a position to confirm that the authority can renew its investment partner status with Homes England.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing to recommend to Council (Part 2) to:

  iii.  Approved proposals for changes in existing housing capital budgets, as introduced in Sections 6 and 7 and detailed in Appendix E of the document, with the resulting position summarised in Appendix H, for decision at Council on 21 October 2021.

  iv.  Approved proposals for new housing capital budgets, as introduced in Sections 6 and 7 and detailed in Appendix E of the document, with the resulting position summarised in Appendix H, for decision at Council on 21 October 2021.

  v.  Approved the revised funding mix for the delivery of the Housing Capital Programme, recognising the latest assumptions for the use of Grant, Right to Buy Receipts, HRA Resources, Major Repairs Allowance and HRA borrowing. 

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Queried the cost of building new homes versus the cost of retrofitting older properties.

  ii.  Asked to see the greenhouse gas impact of the development proposals (ie: the effect on emissions if the council didn’t do anything).

 

The Assistant Head of Finance and Business Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  No councils had been successful in gaining partnership status with Homes England, officers had a meeting with them the following day for feedback on their application. The benefit of having strategic partnership status was that it would have guaranteed a grant for the whole of the development process.

  ii.  Some registered providers had been successful in gaining strategic partnership status and these were generally larger organisations than the City Council.

  iii.  Ditchburn Place had some issues with void properties whilst refurbishments were being carried out but this was necessary to enable the refurbishment to be undertaken.  The Covid pandemic also had an impact as the vulnerable nature of residents and the number of communal areas meant that they weren’t able to re-let the properties. They were now able to re-let and were down to the last few properties.

 

The Committee resolved:

- by 10 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendations 2.1 – 2.2.

- by 6 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendations 2.3 – 2.5.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Publication date: 12/11/2021

Date of decision: 23/09/2021