Agenda item

Housing Revenue Account - MTFP 2021/22 to 2024/25

Report of the Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services.


The Cabinet Member with the Health and Housing Portfolio introduced the report of the Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services (previously circulated) requesting that consideration be given to the proposals for the revenue budget, rent levels and service charges for the Council’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA) for the financial year 2021/22, in the context of the HRA Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) to 2024/25 and the 30-year Business Plan.


The submitted report stated that the key decision to be made regarding the HRA was the balance between rent and service charge levels and investment in housing stock; Local Authorities had the discretion to inflate rents by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) plus one percent, which would result in an average £1.46 increase in weekly rents; 73 per cent of tenants would have their rent and services charges covered by benefit payments; the Council’s rent and service charges tended to be much lower than other Social Landlords operating in Darlington; since Central Government lifted the borrowing cap on the HRA, the Council had used the additional capacity to build much needed new homes; and stated that the Council intended to build 100 affordable homes per annum for the next 10 years.


RESOLVED - That the following recommendations be agreed for wider consultation, namely:-


(a)    an average weekly rent increase of 1.7 per cent for 2021/22 be implemented giving an average social rent of £73.11 and affordable rent of £83.62;


(b)    garage rents and service charges be increased, as shown in Table 3 of the submitted report;


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


(d)    the Housing Business Plan, at Appendix 2 of the submitted report, be agreed.


(e)    that the Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services be given delegated powers to proceed with new build schemes for affordable rent using the funding, as identified at paragraph 16 of the submitted report; and


(f)     that the Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services be given delegated powers to acquire dwellings in the private sector as opportunities arise, particularly as part of regeneration initiatives as discussed at paragraph 17 of the submitted report.

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

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