Issue - meetings

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Final Budget 2024-25 and Medium-Term Financial Plan

Meeting: 08/02/2024 - Executive (Item 580)

580 Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Draft Budget 2024-25 and Medium-Term Financial Plan Proposals pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

KEY DECISION

 

That the Executive recommended to Full Council the following:-

 

a.    The draft 2024/25 Housing Revenue Account Budgets consisting of the Corby Neighbourhood Account and the Kettering Neighbourhood Account as set out in Appendix A.

 

b.    An increase in dwelling rents for 2024/25 of 7.7% which adheres to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) formula on rents for social housing for both the Corby Neighbourhood Account and the Kettering Neighbourhood Account.

 

c.     The draft Housing Revenue Account Medium Term Financial Plan consisting of the Corby Neighbourhood Account and the Kettering Neighbourhood Account, for 2025/26 to 2028/29 as set out in Appendix B.

 

That the Executive

 

d.    Noted the forecast reserves for the Corby Neighbourhood Account and the Kettering Neighbourhood Account up to 2028/29 as set out in Appendix C.

 

 

Reason for Recommendations: To ensure that the Council complies with its Constitution in setting the budget for North Northamptonshire.

 

Alternative Options Considered: This HRA Budgets have been the subject to a formal budget consultation and comments from the consultation have been considered as part of this process.

 

Minutes:

The Chair invited Cllr William Colquhoun to address the meeting. Cllr Colquhoun raised the issue of void properties within the Council’s housing stock and the consequent lack of income. Cllr Colquhoun suggested that the Council could realise a significant saving by turning void properties round in a more efficient manner.

 

The Chair thanked Cllr Colquhoun for his comments and invited Cllr Lyn Buckingham to speak on this item. Cllr Buckingham also made reference to void properties and the impact on the Housing Revenue Account budget and also the General Fund through temporary accommodation provision.

 

The Chair thanked Cllr Buckingham for her comments before inviting the Executive Member for Finance and Transformation, Cllr Lloyd Bunday to introduce the report, the purpose of which was to present the proposed Housing Revenue Account budget for 2024-25 and Medium-Term Financial Plan to the Executive.

 

Cllr Bunday stated that the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) was a separate ring-fenced account within the Council for the income and expenditure associated with its housing stock. It was noted that the HRA did not directly impact on the Council’s wider General Fund budget or on the level of Council Tax, with income primarily received through the rents and other charges paid by tenants and leaseholders.

 

It was reported that the approach to the HRA budget setting had focused on three key areas: -

 

·       Revenue income, rent and service charge levels

·       Revenue expenditure plans that reflected service delivery patterns

·       Capital expenditure plans that would deliver essential maintenance to the stock as well as ensuring the Decent Homes Standard is maintained and support the new build programme

 

The Council, at present, operated two neighbourhood accounts for Corby and Kettering, although it was required to move towards consolidating these into one account, with work underway in this regard. It was noted that this amalgamation was a substantial piece of work and would require a 30-year Business Plan to be produced, informed by the Housing Strategy for North Northamptonshire that was currently being developed.

 

It was heard that the draft HRA budgets had been presented to the Tenants’ Advisory Panel on 16th November 2023, and further discussed at its meeting on 18th January 2024 where formal recommendations were made to the Executive pertaining to rent levels and the budget itself. The Corporate Scrutiny Committee were also invited to consider these proposals as part of their wider scrutiny of the budget.

 

It was noted that alongside the General Fund Budget and Capital Programme, recommendations would be made to Full Council on 22nd February 2024 seeking approval of thee 2024/25 HRA Budgets consisting of the Corby and Kettering Neighbourhood Accounts, an increase in dwelling rents for 2024/25 for both the Corby and Kettering, and the HRA Medium Term Financial Plan consisting of the Corby and Kettering Neighbourhood Accounts for 2025/26 to 2028/29.

 

It was noted that the Council was required by law to avoid budgeting for a deficit on the HRA. Accordingly, the budget must not be based on total HRA revenue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 580