Housing Revenue Account budget for 2021/22 and Business Plan
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget for 2021/22 and the summary HRA 30 year Financial Business Plan when it meets on Tuesday 16 February.
The HRA Business Plan covers the repair and maintenance of the Council’s homes, improvement work including environmental improvement, neighbourhood management including tackling anti-social behaviour, estate caretaking, income collection and customer involvement for its 7,300 Council homes, in addition it also sets out an ambitious council house building programme.
In December 2019, Welsh Government released the revised rent policy for a 5 year period commencing financial year 2020/21. This is designed to ensure that affordability for tenants is at the core of our considerations.
The recommended option for rents 2021/22 would be to apply an overall uplift of 0.68% to all tenants and, in addition, apply the transitional uplift of £2 to tenants who currently pay at least £3 under target rent. This ensures that no individual tenant will pay more than the maximum allowed but continues to move towards readdressing the disparity between those rents under and those at target rent, seeking to make rent charges to all tenants more equal.
Garage rents are set to increase by 20p per week to £10.03 per week and a garage plot rent increase of 3p per week taking it to £1.63 per week.
The Welsh Government rent and service charge policy expects all social landlords to achieve full cost recovery. Flintshire has been working towards this. However, for the next financial year, it is proposed to freeze service charges. This will protect tenants who are experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the ongoing emergency situation.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Dave Hughes, said:
“A total of £20.8m has been built into our council house improvement programme for 2021/22 financial year this includes provision for internal work (kitchens and bathrooms), external work (windows, doors, roofing, guttering), environmental programmes, adaptations for those with disabilities, energy efficiency works and strategic acquisition.
“In addition, there is just over £14m available for the Council’s house build schemes to ensure that more council houses are built, these work programmes together equate to a total level of investment of £34.8m.”