There is a lot of change in local authority housing finance in Wales, with the Welsh Government introducing self-financing in April 2015 along with a new policy on rents and service charges that obliges Welsh local authorities to unpool service charges where they have not already done so. All the stock-holding local authorities in Wales are therefore preparing self-financed business plans, unpooling service charges, considering the changes that are required in risk management, accounting and financial management and considering how they can use the new freedoms and flexibilities to build new social homes.
Self-financing means the end of the housing subsidy system, a significant increase in the housing debt of Welsh local authorities, a cap on the borrowing that will be permitted for housing, a significant shift in risk from the Welsh Government to local authorities and a need for significant change in business planning, risk management, accounting and treasury management arrangements.
The Welsh Government has developed a new policy for social housing rents that will be applied consistently by all social landlords and reflect the type, size, location and quality of the homes. The policy will be implemented by stock retaining local authorities following exit from the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy system. The policy requires local authorities that currently pool rent and service charges to disaggregate service charges from rent.
This book is designed to assist local authorities with the implementation of self-financing. It is suitable for elected members, housing managers, finance managers and anyone with an interest in the implementation of self-financing in Wales. It includes sections on :