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Housing Revenue Account budget for 2022/23 and Business Plan

Published: 11/02/2022

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget for 2022/23 and the draft HRA 30 year Financial Business Plan when it meets on Tuesday 15 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.

The recommended option for rents 2022/23 would be to apply an overall uplift of 1.18% to all tenants and, in addition, apply the transitional uplift of £2 to tenants who currently pay at least £3 under target rent. This equates to an overall rent increase of 2%.

Proposed garage rents are set to increase by 20p per week to £10.23 per week (based on 52 weeks). The proposed garage plot rent increase is 3p per week taking it to £1.66 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, as with the last, it is proposed to freeze service charges.  This will protect tenants who are experiencing financial difficulty as a result of Covid-19.

The context for this year’s HRA budget setting includes:

• To ensure affordability for tenants is at the core of our considerations

• Continued drive to ensure all service costs are efficient and that value for money can be achieved

• To ensure the treasury management strategy continues to meet the Housing Revenue Account’s new and ongoing borrowing requirements

• Setting a balanced budget with a minimum of 4% surplus revenue over expenditure

• Maximisation of revenue efficiencies to minimise the borrowing required to meet Welsh Housing Quality Standards (WHQS)

• Delivery of new build Council housing

• Continued drive to ensure homes are energy efficient and explore decarbonisation

• Provision of adequate ongoing capital to maintain WHQS levels

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Dave Hughes, said:

“Just over £17.2m has been built into our council house improvement programme for 2022/23 financial year this includes environmental programmes, adaptations for those with disabilities and energy efficiency works. 

“In addition, there is just over £7.8m 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 over £25m.”