Independence...Integrity...Value

Management Consulting Services: Local Authority Housing

The Housing Revenue Account is often considered to be one of the most complex of a council’s accounts; and the introduction of self-financing in England in April 2012 created new challenges and opportunities. There is a need for a good awareness of how the system works, robust business planning and a sound focus on value for money.

Housing General Fund services are also facing increased demands with constrained resources.

We have recently assisted our clients with:

  • Accounting for the Housing Revenue Account and Housing General Fund
  • Self-Financing and Business Planning
  • Service Charges for Leaseholders and Tenants
  • Value for Money Reviews Preparation of Financial models including for new build
  • Development and Delivery of Training Programmes
  • Housing Stock Options Appraisals

What follows are examples of the local authority housing management consulting services that we offer.

For more information please contact Adrian Waite on adrian.waite@awics.co.uk

Or download our brochure on management consulting services for local authority housing from HERE

Accounting for the Housing Revenue Account

The Housing Revenue Account is often considered to be one of the most complex of a council’s accounts; and the introduction of self-financing in England in April 2012 created new challenges and opportunities.

Our management consultants are able to offer specialist advice.

We have recently advised:

  • Ashfield District Council on Business Planning and Accounting.
  • Denbighshire County Council on Business Planning, Self-Financing, Service Charges and New Build.
  • Hartlepool Borough Council on setting Rents.
  • Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Councils on Service Charges.
  • Oldham Borough Council on Business Planning, Health Check of the Housing Revenue Account and Service Charges.
  • Slough Borough Council on business planning.
  • Wrexham Borough Council on Service Charges.

Value for Money

In the current climate of economic constraint there is a continuing need for a focus on value for money. We believe that value for money is most likely to be achieved where there is a focus on the needs and aspirations of customers and a rigorous review of systems and costs.

Our experience in strategic management, management consulting, housing finance and residents’ advice makes us well placed to consider value for money.

Recent clients include:

  • Birmingham City Council – assistance with the development of a value for money procurement strategy
  • London Area Procurement Network – evaluation of savings from contracts
  • Scottish Housing Regulator – Associate Inspector with specialism in value for money

Preparation of Financial Models

Financial modelling is essential especially where new developments or initiatives are being considered. Our consultants possess both the financial and information technology skills to prepare effective financial models.

For example, we have prepared many financial models for business plans; the calculation of rents and service charges; and for modelling development schemes.

Service Charges for Leaseholders and Tenants

Northampton Guildhall: We provided advice on service charges

The calculation and management of service charges for leaseholders and tenants can be complex. We have assisted many local authprities with leasehold and tenanted service charges that have resulted in service charges being established on a firmer footing and increased service charges being collected. Recent clients include: Denbighshire County Council, Northampton Borough Council, Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Councils and Oldham Borough Council.

We also advised Teresa Peace MP (now Shadow Housing Minister) on issues connected with service charges on the Thamesmead estate in her constituency.

For further information about management consulting advice and support we can offer on service charges please click HERE

Housing Stock Options Appraisals

Local authorities usually seek external advice from a management consultant when they carry out a housing stock options appraisal. We are well placed to deliver housing stock options appraisals because of our experience in both housing finance and independent residents’ advice. We carry out housing stock options appraisals from an independent and objective viewpoint – helping local authorities and their residents to identify the best option for achieving their aspirations locally.

Our work on housing stock options has included:

  • Basildon Borough Council – Lead Advisor
  • Fenland District Council – Independent Tenants’ Advisor
  • Halton Borough Council – Financial advisor
  • Hammersmith & Fulham Borough Council – Financial advisor
  • Lambeth Borough Council (Wellington Mills Housing Co-operative) – Lead Advisor
  • Southwark Borough Council – Financial Advisor

We have also acted as management consultant advisor to the Government Offices for the East, East Midlands, London and Southwest on the financial evaluation of housing stock options

Self-Financing and Business Planning

We have assisted many of our clients, for example Basildon Borough Council and Denbighshire County Council, in the introduction of Self-Financing. Moving forward there is a need to ensure that effective business planning is in place.

Effective business planning involves both a rigorous analysis of the business position of the local authority and the production of a long-term financial projection including risk analysis and sensitivity testing. Our experience of strategic management and of housing finance makes us uniquely well placed to deliver this.

Clients that we have assisted recently with business planning include:

  • Ashfield District Council
  • Basildon Borough Council
  • Enfield Borough Council
  • Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council
  • Slough Borough Council
  • South Derbyshire District Council
  • Warrington Borough Council

For more information about business planning please click HERE

Housing Revenue Account Health Checks

AWICS has developed an approach to housing revenue account 'health checks'

For more information about housing revenue account 'health checks' please click HERE

Development and Delivery of Training Programmes

It is essential that housing managers, councillors and tenant representatives have a working knowledge of how local authority housing finance works.

As well as our regional seminars and in-house courses delivered by an experienced management consultant we are able to evaluate your training needs and design a training programme to suit your needs.

For further information on our regional seminars please follow the links below:

For further information on in-house training opportunities please follow the link below:

Other Information on Housing

More information on local authority housing is freely available on our website. Please follow the links below:

New Council Houses being built at Ashfield in Nottinghamshire.

AWICS has advised the Council on business planning and accounting.

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