Agenda item

Housing Revenue Account Estimates and Housing Capital Programme 2020/21


The Assistant Director (Corporate Services) presented the Committee withthe draft revenue and capital estimates for Housing Revenue Account Services in 2020-21 together with the determination of the level of rents and service charges for 2020-21.



The Original Estimate for 2020-21 represents a balanced budget position, though this

has only been achieved through drawing £1,389,600 from the HRA General Reserve as expenditure in the year is anticipated to exceed the income generated in the year.


In February 2019, the Government confirmed its intention to set a long term rent deal for social housing landlords in England. The new policy will permit annual rent increases on both social rent and affordable rent properties of up to consumer price index (CPI) plus one percentage point from 2020, for a period of at least five years. The subsequent Rent Standard issued by the Regulator of Social Housing in respect of 2020-21 confirmed that rents could increase by CPI+1% from 1 April 2020 (where CPI is measured at September 2019).  Dwelling Rents for 2020-21 will therefore increase by 2.7%. The authority’s average social rent will increase to £89.96 per week in 2020-21 compared to £87.17 per week in 2019-20. The average affordable rent will increase to £159.41 per week (the average social rent increase will not be exactly equal to 2.7% due to re-letting of void properties and additions of properties during the year).


The Assistant Director (Corporate Services) advised that service charges were also levied on Council dwellings to cover a range of services including caretaking services and maintenance of communal areas and communal assets, such as lifts and gardens. Service charges were generally eligible to be met by Housing Benefit, with the exception of charges to individual homes such as heating or lighting within a dwelling. The Council’s average capped service charge will be £3.63 per week for 2020-21. The capped service charge had been increased by 2.7% (based on CPI at September 2019 +1).


Rent levels and service charges for 2020-21 had been determined by the Assistant Director (Housing) and the Director (Corporate Services), in accordance with the Housing Act 1985 and under delegated authority as set out at Annex 1.13B.83 of the Constitution.


The Assistant Director (Corporate Services) advised that this will be the first time in four years since social rent had increased.


The Director (Corporate Services) and Assistant Director (Corporate Services) fielded questions from the Committee and highlighted the following:


·         There will be a year on year requirement to borrow in order to fund the new build programme but this will be met by the increase in rent.

·         Council owned garages were considered as part of the balancing the budget proposals. There will be a re-allocation of income and expenditure relating to ? Housing Revenue Account and ? General Fund.

·         The Local Authority Trading Company will own the properties that are built as part of the Reef development and rent them out privately to members of the public.



Resolved that the Committee note the General Housing Revenue Account Estimates and Housing Capital Programme 2020/21


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