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ARCH annual report

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

 

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ARCH response to self-financing housing announcements 01/02/2011 Labelled as Finance

ARCH welcomed announcements on the future of housing finance made on 1st February by housing minister Grant Shapps.

Commenting on government plans for councils to take on debt in return for the ability to keep rental income set out in the publication Implementing self-financing for council housing, ARCH secretary John Bibby, director of housing and community services at Lincoln City Council, said: 'ARCH has been campaigning vociferously for the reform of the Housing Revenue Account subsidy system and we are very pleased that announcements made today will enable its members to move forward with self-financing plans. ARCH is looking forward to dialogue between its members and government and hopes for a firm and final commitment to a fully workable settlement as soon as possible. ARCH members are concerned about the implications of the re-opening the debt settlement for their authorities and would ask that the circumstances under which debts would be reopened are fully clarified.'

National chair of ARCH, Cllr Milan Radulovic of Broxtowe BC, said: 'After years of campaigning for a fairer council housing finance system, ARCH is excited by the opportunity for greater local control. As always, the devil is in the detail and ARCH members will each be looking at how the deal stacks up for their particular communities; there is a level of debt at which authorities can make plans for the future and a level that is unsustainable.'

ARCH treasurer, Paul Price, head of Housing Services at Tendring DC, said: 'ARCH is delighted to see that detail on the level of debt and other arrangements which should allow councils to leave the unfair HRA subsidy system have finally been set out. Work will need to take place within each authority to calculate the impact, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.'

He added: 'However, we are dismayed at the news that 75% of receipts from right to buy sales will have to be handed to the Treasury as we believe that it is critical that right to buy receipts are kept locally. It is totally contrary to the first principles of self financing and flies in the face of localism that councils will not be able to fully manage their asset base to generate income to deliver improvements to existing stock and to assist in stock rationailisation. Whilst broadly welcoming the overall plans, we would call on the government to rethink this element of the proposals.'

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