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The ARCH annual report for 2015-16 is now available to view.

 

Download it here.

ARCH: Making the case for council housing 19/01/2017

In July 2016 CIH (Chartered Institute of Housing) and CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy) published a report "Investing in council housing" which examined the 2012 "self-financing settlement" that put in place a robust long-term plan for council house building. The Report argued that successive policy changes have cut rental income so that today, just 45,000 new homes are expected, no more than were planned before the settlement was made. ARCH provided information and evidence to the report authors and is referenced at various points in the report.

 

 

We brought together a representative cross-section of ARCH member councils and NFA Almo members to participate in a round table discussion with CIH, CIPFA, ARCH and the NFA in September 2016 to examine how best to take forward the recommendation in the CIH/CIPFA report with a view to making representations to Government and in particular to examine what commitments could be made to the Government to improve housing supply in return for commitments that would provide more stable HRA Business Plans.

 

 

Following further work with CIH/CIPFA and a number of ARCH and NFA members who showed an interest in making the case to Government demonstrating what could be achieved by way of additional housing supply in return for increased flexibilities in the HRA, we have been working on submission of a joint Paper to DCLG seeking to open up discussions with Government on the potential for greater HRA flexibilities to support the Government's housebuilding targets.

 

 

Together with CIH, CIPFA and the NFA we have put together a well-argued case for flexibilities in government policy, to be applied at individual local authority level, which has the potential to unleash resources that otherwise will go unused to support the building of more homes.

 

 

We look forward to a formal response from Government and hope to meet officials from DCLG in the near future to discuss the paper in the hope of persuading Government of the merits of relaxing national rules on HRA in return for a commitment on increased new build.

 

 

We will keep our members informed of the Government's response to our proposals.

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