HRA Reform

 

HRA Reform was the subject of conversation at our breakfast seminar just a stone’s throw from City Hall this week. Richard Parker and Joe Reeves spoke about the work PwC has been doing with Government on the reforms to the housing revenue account subsidy system, with Ken Jones of LB Barking and Dagenham and Jim Saunders from Regenter giving the borough and investor perspective respectively.

Neil Litherland from Lambeth Living and Peter Ruback from DCLG joined the panel to discuss issues including:

– the significant cultural change that will be needed to move from annually determined subsidy to longer term planning (although recognizing that political cycles will still hinder long term strategies)

– the need to keep councillors up to speed with the changes ahead (particularly for those authorities taking on large amounts of debt) on what is quite a ‘techie’ subject

– the need for councillors to engage with tenants and ensure decisions can be influenced locally

– prudent asset and debt management to unlock potential investment for regeneration

Access the presentations from the event here and also this one from PWC explaining the changes. Also, check out our video with Joe Reeves explaining the intrinsic link between good asset management and HRA debt management. HRA borrowing caps in relation to delivering regeneration (particularly estate renewal) came up in conversation in February at our Affordable Rent seminar