Council is recommended to:
1. Approve the implementation of the 1% reduction in social housing rents in accordance with the Welfare Reform and Work Act and to give 28 days’ notice to all secure and introductory tenants of the rent reduction from 1 April 2019.
2. Adopt the Business Plan set out at Appendix 1 to this report as the approved Housing Revenue Account Business Plan including:
a. The revenue budget for 2019-2020 at Appendix 1B to this report
b. The Capital Programme for 2019-2020 to 2023-2024 at Appendix 1C to this report to include the following;
· Provision of £24.0 million for estate remodelling
· An increase to the budget for the refurbishment of Heath Town Estate of £10.1 million
· An addition of £15.0 million to the budget for High Rise mechanical and electrical infrastructure
· Total new build programme provision of £157.3 million with £5.0 million for community housing development at Bushbury Hill, £4.0 million for phase 5 of the small sites programme and £60.0 million set aside for future development.
3. Approve the rates for garage rents and service charges set out in Appendix 2 to this report and formally notify tenants. There is one stepped increase to approve, all other charges remain the same.
1. That the consultation responses be noted as outlined at Appendix 3 to this report.
2. That it be noted that the limited ‘Additional Needs’ Housing Revenue Account Borrowing Offer 2018 for Specific Borrowing was not made available for the City of Wolverhampton due to eligibility criteria. However, on 29 October 2018 the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap was abolished in the Chancellor’s Budget which now affords the City with the potential for additional borrowing to support Landlord Services and provide for future housing needs.
3. That it be noted that the issues discussed in the 2018 Social Housing Green Paper which sets out five principles for a new fairer deal for social housing residents focusing on the provision of safe and decent homes, resolving complaints, empowering tenants, tackling stigma and building new homes.
4. That it be noted that the National Building Safety Programme of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Grenfell Inquiry pending its full outcomes, will impact upon future building safety planning. The Hackett Review 2018 makes recommendations for residential building safety and improvements to be considered as part of all future HRA asset management and improvement planning.
5. That it be noted that a review of the Housing Revenue Account Total Operating Model from 2019-2020 will consider future planning for Better Homes Investment (from 2022), the outcomes of the National Building Safety Programme, the Housing Revenue Account Asset Management Plan and future management arrangements for Housing Landlord Services.
6. That it be noted that a new National Regulator of Social Housing was established in 2018. Currently this regulator oversees Registered Housing Providers (Housing Associations) however, nationally a review is underway to consider an extension of this regulation to Local Authority owned housing, including stock managed by Arms-Length Management Organisations and Tenant Management Organisations.