Decision details

Housing Revenue Account - Medium Term Financial Plan 2024/25 to 2027/28

Decision Maker: Cabinet, Council

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To proposed the Housing Revenue Account to Council for approval for the financial year 2024/25.


Pursuant to minute C75/Dec/23, the Cabinet Member with the Health and Housing Portfolio introduced the report of the Group Director of Operations (previously circulated) requesting that consideration be given to the proposals for the revenue budget, capital programme, rent levels and service charges for the Council’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA) for the financial year 2024/25, in the context of the HRA Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) to 2027/28 and the 30-year Business Plan.


The submitted report stated that the Council was the largest provider of social housing in the Borough, providing 5,278 homes to local residents; the homes were of a high standard of accommodation that met the Decent Homes Standard; as a result of the high quality of the homes and the services provided they were in high demand; and to meet that demand the Council had an ambitious programme to build new homes in Darlington, funded through capital receipts from the right to buy sales, grant funding and estimated borrowing of £13.5m.  The proposed revenue budget expenditure of £31.783m included £6.179m to fund responsive repairs and maintenance and £13.455m contribution to the capital programme.  The proposed capital programme of £27.270m included funding for work to current properties and £15.815m to deliver the new build Council housing programme.


It was reported that the key decision to be made regarding the HRA each year was the balance between setting rent and service charge levels that were affordable to the Council’s tenants whilst ensuring there was sufficient resources to invest in housing stock, tackle climate change, meet Decent Home Standards and Fire Safety Regulations and maintain services.  Local Authorities had the discretion to increase rents by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) plus one per cent and as the CPI for September 2023 was 6.7 per cent Members could decide to increase rents by up to 7.7 per cent.


Particular reference was made at the meeting to the increased rents and to what support was being given to the to assist residents of the Borough with the cost of living crisis.  The Cabinet Member with the Health and Housing Portfolio responded thereon.


RESOLVED - That it be recommended to the special meeting of Council scheduled to be held on Thursday 15 February 2024 that :-


(a)  an average weekly rent increase of 6.7 per cent for 2024/25 be implemented giving an average social rent of £83.98 and affordable rent of £94.17;


(b)  garage rents and service charges be increased, as shown in Table 6 of the submitted report;


(c)  the revenue budget, as attached at Appendix 1 of the submitted report, be approved;


(d)  the Housing Business Plan, as attached at Appendix 2 of the submitted report, be agreed; and


(e)  the capital programme, as attached at Appendix 3 of the submitted report, be agreed, and the funding be released, should the programme be subsequently approved by Council.


REASON – To enable the Council to deliver an appropriate level of services to tenants to meet housing need and to support the economic growth of the Borough through housing development.

Report author: Gail Banyard

Publication date: 09/02/2024

Date of decision: 06/02/2024

Decided at meeting: 06/02/2024 - Cabinet

Effective from: 17/02/2024

Accompanying Documents: