The Housing Property Services Manager presented the 30-year HRA Business Plan, Investment Programme and Asset Management Strategy for Council housing for the Executive Committee’s consideration.
Members were advised that the report contained three key documents that had a strategic focus:
· The 30-year HRA Business Plan, which outlined a range of matters including in relation to housing income and how the HRA would achieve a balanced position moving forward. A number of assumptions had been made in developing the content of this plan, including in respect of the numbers of void properties, rental increases, management costs, debt and borrowing.
· The Asset Management Strategy, which provided a strategic overview of improvements needed to the Council’s housing stock to ensure that this continued to comply with modern standards. A key challenge would be in respect of the works required to ensure that in future all properties achieved a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C.
· The five-year capital investment programme, which focused on £40 million of investment in new and existing Council housing stock. Improvements would be informed by the outcomes of the ongoing stock condition survey. There would also be further investment in order to enhance compliance.
Following the presentation of the report, Members commented that the stock condition survey was very important as it would help to inform action taken by the Council to improve the condition of properties. A significant amount of expenditure was planned and Members noted that this was the first time such a plan had been considered by the Council since 2001.
During consideration of this report, Members discussed the recent debate in respect of this item that had occurred at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on Thursday 23rd February 2023. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee had endorsed the proposals detailed in the report and had also proposed a number of additional recommendations. These were addressed in turn by the Executive Committee:
· Recommendation 4(a) - Providing more parking spaces, or being more specific about when and where parking spaces would be provided for Council houses. Members of the Executive Committee commented that there was already a programme in place for the provision of parking spaces. The action that could be taken by the Council was limited, in terms of the land owned by the authority that could be used for parking as well as the space available near to properties for this purpose. Members also commented that it was not appropriate to refer to specific parking spaces and locations in a high level, strategic document.
· Recommendation 4(b) - Transferring funding for handling mould and damp on properties from the Repairs and Maintenance (R&M) budget to the Capital Programme. Members commented that the revenue and capital budgets were separate and funding for this purpose was included in the Repairs and Maintenance budget because that was the most appropriate funding stream for such activities. Should circumstances change, then a capital budget could be introduced for works on damp and mould in future, ... view the full minutes text for item 131