Housing Revenue Account budget for 2018/19
Flintshire County Council’s Community and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny
Committee will be asked to consider the draft Housing Revenue Account (HRA)
budget for 2018/19 when it meets on Monday, 15 January.
The HRA funds the landlord function of the council for over 7,000 homes. This
covers the council house building programme, repair and maintenance of homes,
stock improvement and environmental improvements, neighbourhood management
including resolving anti-social behaviour and estate caretaking, income
collection and customer involvement.
The council is required to meet the Welsh Government target for rent levels for
council homes over time, and the formula for setting rents each year is also
set by Welsh Government. Rents are calculated each year based on the Consumer
Price Index (CPI) at the previous September (3%) and a real increase percentage
of 1.5%, plus up to an additional £2. If implemented in full this would mean
rent increases of 4.5% in April 2018 plus up to £2.
Rent increases and service charges are covered by Universal Credit and Housing
Benefit for social tenants. However, a proportion of tenants will only qualify
for partial benefit and so may find it more difficult to make payments.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Bernie
“The council is concerned about affordability for tenants and therefore myself
and the Leader of the Council are proposing an option to increase rents by 3%
only plus up to £2. The council’s cabinet will consider this on 20 February and
will then make a recommendation to full Council later that day. The Scrutiny
Committee will be asked to consider the implications of both options and then
to provide feedback to the cabinet ahead of its meeting. The Tenants Federation
will also be considering both options at their meeting at the end of
Garage rents are set to increase by £1 per week and a garage plot rent increase
of £0.20 per week is proposed.
The HRA is required to produce a 30 year business plan. This focuses on the
achievement of the Welsh Housing Quality Standards (WHQS), Choices document
promises being kept, ongoing efficiencies made and 200 new council homes built.
Flintshire County Council’s Leader, Councillor Aaron Shotton, said:
“£21m has been built into the WHQS programme for 2018/19. This includes
provision for internal work (kitchens and bathrooms), external work (windows,
doors, roofing, guttering, etc), environmental programmes, adaptations for
those with disabilities, and energy efficiency works.
“In addition, there is a further £14.2m available for the Council’s Strategic
Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP) to ensure that more council houses
and more affordable homes are built during 2018/19.”