So far, so good
Norman Adams was asked for his view on the first year of Northampton’s Borough Councils ALMO (Northampton Partnership Homes)
This is just one year in to what is a 15 year journey for our housing , it reminds me of a man who fell off a 15-story building. As he was falling, people on each floor kept hearing him say, So far, so good.” I THINK many have a cautious optimism… more barriers have to be overcome yet. And of course the government seems to be doing all in its power to UNDERMIND any council that still as a Housing Revenue Account (of which Northampton is one).
The government’s cut of social housing rent by 1% a year for four years will come as a welcome change to council tenants used to above-inflation increases. However, what we gain in lower rent we may lose in a reduced service.
We now know that the Housing Revenue Account has taken a £20.5m hit
We know that the Management fee paid to the ALMO (Northampton Partnership Homes) as taken a £10m reduction
The consequence of this will be?
Northampton Tenants’ via its Tenants’ Panel will need to find out just what scaling back on expectations given to them will be cut or amended
While I’m not advocating a return to higher rents, there’s another solution:this link will take you to Defend Council Housing views on what needs to be done NoHousingBill_web
It gives more detail on why we need to write off some of the historic debt councils are required to pay back to government.
When a new self-financing system was introduced in 2012, the so-called national housing debt – clocked up from social housing builds across the country – was redistributed between councils. This resulted in 136 councils being given extra debt totalling £13bn; each local authority’s share was dependent on their predicted income and[i]Northampton’s was £193m. Tenants’ rents are used to pay off this debt and the interest charges.
But this debt was the product of creative accounting by the Treasury rather than actual borrowing. The debt for each council was calculated, in large part, on the basis of estimated rent income over the 30-year business plan.