This paper is the AWICS response to the government’sconsultation paper ‘Council Housing: A Real Future’ written in July 2010.
This consultation paper is generally to be welcomed. The housingrevenue account financing system including the subsidy system as it currentlyoperates is generally considered to be unfit for purpose. In particular itconsidered to be unfair to local authorities and council tenants; to be tooinflexible and unstable thus making long-term financial and asset managementplanning difficult; and to leave local authorities with insufficient resourcesto provide and sustain decent homes and other appropriate services for theirtenants. The current system prevents local authorities from best meeting theneeds of their tenants and the communities that they serve.
We agree with Ministers that there is a need for a devolvedsystem that puts local authorities and tenants firmly in control and gives themthe financial freedom they need to make the best long-term decisions abouttheir housing and communities. We agree that power and money should be returnedto councils and communities.
While we recognise that this is essentially a technicalfinancial paper, we are therefore disappointed at the apparent lack of emphasisthat is given to tenants’ interests and to value for money. We believe thatthese issues should be at the heart of thinking about the financial managementof council housing.
We believe that these proposals represent an improvement onthe current arrangements but that further thought should be given to theimplications of the proposals. These issues are identified in our paper.
For full briefing paper please click here.