The work ARCH has been doing on behalf of its members has been
recognised in an influential House of Commons briefing for MPs.
The briefing "Local housing authorities - the self-financing
regime: progress and issues" provides an excellent summary of
the implications of local authorities with retained stock moving to
the new self-financing regime from April 2012 and has been provided
to MPs in support of their parliamentary duties.
The briefing recognises that Councils are responding well to the
new self-financing framework and that over the next 5 years
councils will invest an average of around £9,000 per dwelling in
their existing stock and that 93% of council's had plans to build
new council housing albeit on a modest scale, constrained as they
are by the HRA borrowing cap and public sector borrowing rules.
The briefing references the recently launched ARCH/NFA Manifesto
as well as the Lyons review and the recently published
Elphicke-House report to both of which ARCH made submissions on
behalf of its members.
The briefing paper reflects some of the issues raised in the
ARCH manifesto notably:
- Uncertainties around income collection as a result of various
welfare reform measures.
- Reductions in assumed annual income from RTB receipts in the
original self-financing settlement as a result of the reinvigorated
RTB and recognition that in terms of 1-for-1 replacements at
present the ratio is 1-for-7 with just one home being built for
every seven sold under the reinvigorated RTB.
- The case for change in UK borrowing rules including raising the
borrowing cap introduced under self-financing as well as the case
for amending UK fiscal rules to put municipally owned housing on
the same footing as municipally owned housing in other E.U.
countries such as Sweden, Austria, Finland and France) to enable
stock retained councils to enjoy the same borrowing freedoms as
ARCH members may also find the briefing paper provides an
extremely useful reference document and summary of the introduction
and development of the new self-financing regime from 2012 and as
such helpful to them in briefing newly elected councillors, tenant
representatives and staff.