COMMUNITY SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

 14TH february 2019

 

                                        

Housing Revenue Account Budget and Housing Rent Setting for 2019/20

 

To consider and comment on the following issues:

 

·         That as part of the Budget Consultation process, the Scrutiny Committee considers the amendments to the rent setting proposals for 2019/20 .This was considered by Executive Board 04/02/2019 and will be considered by County Council on 20/02/2019.

 

 

REASONS:

·         To enable the Authority to set its Housing Revenue Account Budget and the Housing Rent levels for 2019/20.

  • To formulate views for submission to Council for consideration.

 

 

To be referred to the Executive Board for decision: NO

Full Council – 20th February 2019

 

 

EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER PORTFOLIO HOLDER:- Cllr David Jenkins

 

Directorate: Corporate Services

Name of Director: Chris Moore

 

 

Report Author: Andrea Thomas

 

Designations:

Director of Corporate Services

 

 

Group Accountant

 

Tel No’s / E Mail Addresses:

01267 224160

CMoore@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

01267 228742

AndThomas@carmarthenshire.gov.uk


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

COMMUNITY SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

 14th february 2019

 

 

Housing Revenue Account Budget and Housing Rent Setting for 2019/20

 

 

This report explains changes applied to the rent setting element of the proposed 2019/20 Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget for both revenue and capital. It has been prepared in conjunction with officers from the Communities Department. This report is presented to this Community Scrutiny Committee as an update to the report presented 23/01/19 which was part of the budget consultation process. The views expressed by Community Scrutiny Committee on 23/01/19 were fed back to Executive Board.

Previously we have applied the WG Social Housing Rent Policy to progress to the mid-point target rent (County Council approved on 24/02/15). This policy ended in 2018/19.

 

A one year policy of maximum of CPI only was issued by WG 12/12/2018 for 2019/20, with no discretion to apply ‘progression’ for those tenants below target rents if an LA’s current average rent is within the target rent band.

Rent increases could be set at lower than 2.4% but as there is no certainty over future rent levels applying the interim policy seems the most prudent approach for 2019/20. Setting at a lower level than 2.4% rent increase will also impact of the current proposed Business Plan.

 

However on the 30 January 2019, after the consultation had been completed and this report had been written and despatched, Welsh Government notified Local Authorities of an amendment to the interim policy which allowed Local Authorities with average rent within the Target Rent Band the flexibility to use the 'up to £2 per week' progression subject to ensuring that the overall rent increase for your general needs and sheltered housing stock does not exceed 2.4% and that no individual tenant will receive a rent increase of more than the agreed policy uplift of 2.4% plus the £2.00 progression.

 

This change in direction by WG was considered by Executive Board on 4th February and it was felt that it was appropriate to change the original recommendation proposed to Scrutiny previously as it  allowed the Authority to meet its previous commitment to tenants by implementing the harmonisation policy and establishing a fairer rent level for all tenants.

This proposed amendment is presented to Scrutiny for their consideration before County Council considers the final HRA Budget for 2019/20.

 

 

 

DETAILED REPORT ATTACHED?

YES

 


IMPLICATIONS

 

 

 

I confirm that other than those implications which have been agreed with the appropriate Directors / Heads of Service and are referred to in detail below, there are no other implications associated with this report :

 

Signed: Chris Moore                                                                  Director of Corporate Services                          

 

 

Policy, Crime & Disorder and Equalities

 

Legal

Finance

ICT

Risk Management Issues

Staffing Implications

Physical Assets 

 

NONE

NONE

YES

NONE

NONE

NONE

YES

FINANCE

The report details the HRA proposals to be considered by Executive Board. If the proposals are agreed the budget for the HRA will be set for 2019/20 with an expenditure level of £37.6M.
The average rent will increase from £85.52 to £87.57 (2.4% or £2.05).

The proposed Capital Programme will be £30.9M for 2019/20, £30.8M for 2020/21 and £27.8M for 2021/22.

 

Physical Assets

The capital programme continues the works to maintain the Carmarthenshire Home Standard Plus and deliver the Affordable Homes programme as per the 30 year business plan.

 

 

 

CONSULTATIONS

 

 

I confirm that the appropriate consultations have taken in place and the outcomes are as detailed below

 

Signed:  Chris Moore                                                                Director of Corporate Services                                               

 

1.Local Member(s)  - Not applicable

2.Community / Town Council – Not applicable

3.Relevant Partners  - Not applicable

4.Staff Side Representatives and other Organisations – Not applicable

 

 

Section 100D Local Government Act, 1972 – Access to Information

List of Background Papers used in the preparation of this report:

 

THESE ARE DETAILED BELOW    

 

Title of Document

 

File Ref No.

Locations that the papers are available for public inspection

 

 

 

Social Housing Rents Policy

 

Financial Services, County Hall, Carmarthen

30 year Housing Business Plan

 

Financial Services , County Hall, Carmarthen