Independence...Integrity...Value

28Th February 2017

Feb 28th, 10:26

Blog 28th February 2017

Last week I presented a session of ‘All You Want to Know about Service Charges’ as an in-house session for a Housing Association in Cumbria. Delegates said that the found the information provided relevant, that the quality of presentation was good to excellent and that the training met their needs fully. They described the session as thought-provoking, interesting, thorough, useful, comprehensive and practical. Individual comments included:

  • For someone with a basic knowledge of service charges it was very useful.
  • Very good overall.

There is an increased interest in service charges in local authorities and housing associations. For example, this week’s ‘Inside Housing’ leads with the news that:

“Councils are boosting their income through service charge rises and other fee increases as pressure from the 1% rent cut on housing revenue accounts ramps up… There are 21 councils which now plan to increase service charges, with many having kept them frozen for years previously.”

Our next open seminar on service charges will be at Leeds on 17th May 2017. For further information or to make a booking please click HERE

Information about the management advice and assistance that we provide with service charges can be found HERE

Next week I will be presenting: ‘All You Want to Know about Local Authority Housing Finance’ in London on 8th March 2017. This seminar comes at a time when local authority housing finance is becoming increasingly challenging. As ‘Inside Housing’ reports this week:

“Councils face a devastating £2.56billion black hole in budgets over the four-year period of rent reductions, with many axing fledgling development programmes as a result.”

In these circumstances, it is essential that housing managers and elected members – as well as finance staff - have a working knowledge of local authority housing finance. This seminar has therefore proved popular as usual. I am currently finalising the presentation and am looking forward to meeting the delegates. However, we do still have a few places available. For further information or to make a booking, please click HERE

The future funding of supported housing is currently being considered at a joint meeting of the Parliamentary Communities & Local Government and Work & Pensions Committees. The government is proposing to end the current system where housing support costs are generally met through housing benefit to one where housing benefit will be capped at local housing allowance rates and any additional funding that is required for supported housing will be funded by local authorities. Evidence was given this week by David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation who warned that this may result in lower funding in low-value areas:

“If you are already in an area of high value local housing allowance you’re almost certainly also in an area of high business rate and high council tax take. If you’re in an area like Hull where the local housing allowance is already low, most of the council tax is going to be in band A for property and business rate take will not be sufficient, so by what means will the money be siphoned from the high-value local authorities to the low value?”

We will be holding seminars on the future funding of supported housing in April and May 2017. For further information or to make a booking please click HERE

All our seminars are also available as in-house sessions. For further information, please contact me at Adrian.waite@awics.co.uk or 017683-51498.

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