Following the confirmation of the scrapping of Housing Revenue
Account Borrowing Caps in last year's Autumn Budget the expectation
from government will be that councils should now deliver the "new
generation of council housing" promised by Prime Minister Theresa
We have arranged a meeting of the ARCH/NFA/CWAG New Build
Network to give Network members the chance to come together to
discuss what the scrapping of HRA Borrowing Caps means in practice
and what further help and assistance ARCH, the NFA and CWAG may be
able to provide to support our members.
The meeting will take place on 20 February 2018, 10.30am -
3.30pm at Woburn House, Tavistock Square, London. A buffet lunch
will be provided.
We have an exciting line up of speakers, including senior
officials from MHCLG on the government's response to the recent
consultation on the use of RTB Receipts and on modern methods of
construction (MMC) and the government's support for off-site
We will also hear from colleagues at CIPFA on the Prudential
Borrowing Rules and the lifting of HRA Borrowing Caps and what this
means for councils in practice and the event may be of interest to
local authority Section 151 Officers and housing finance
We are conscious that many of our members, particularly those
that have not been able to develop a new build programme up to now,
will need time to build up in-house skills and capacity to deliver
new council housing and/or develop partnerships with other councils
or housing association partners and we will hear from the LGA on
the offer of some limited financial assistance from the LGA to help
develop such capacity.
The recent announcements on the lifting of HRA Borrowing Caps,
the scrapping of the HVA Levy, the new 5-year social rent policy
and the recent RTB Receipts consultation, all of which will help
give councils greater certainty to encourage investment in new
council housing through their Housing Business Plans, but we
recognise that the government could do more.
Although we've got a lot of what we have been campaigning for
over the last few years, if councils are going to be encouraged to
borrow prudentially within the HRA to build new social rented
housing, given that its highly unlikely a Conservative government
will abolish the RTB, we will continue to push for:
- Regional caps on RTB discounts
- Extension of the cost floor for new build
- A return to a 10-year social rent policy & rent
- Maximum flexibility on use of RTB receipts (subject to what
comes out of the recent consultation).
- Greater priority for social rented housing within the Homes
England Affordable Housing Programme
We want to hear from our members whether these are the right
"asks" and/or if there are further matters on which we should be
lobbying the government.
The event is aimed primarily at senior officers responsible for
delivery of councils' new build programme and those responsible for
management of the HRA, including housing finance colleagues.
A full programme will be available shortly, but places are
limited and we recommend you book your places now.