Housing Revenue Account Business Plan

The current Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan provides tenants, the Council and its members with direction and priorities for managing social housing in Cornwall.

The HRA Business Plan is produced in consultation with Cornwall Housing Ltd, Elected members and tenants, and outlines the responsibilities of the Council including:

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  • the way we finance landlord and tenant services
  • financial advice to inform the Council's strategic housing role
  • the way we manage housing and resources to meet demand, invest in new houses and maintain our existing housing stock to a high standard
  • provides tenants with the standards we will meet on performance and value for money

Cornwall Council owns approximately 10,300 homes. In April 2012 the Council created Cornwall Housing Ltd (CHL) to manage these homes using the HRA budget.

The HRA Business Plan provides CHL with the strategic direction for landlord services; enabling the company to deliver improvements to homes and services in accordance with the priorities of tenants and the Council.

The HRA's income comes from rent and service charges paid by tenants. The income received into the HRA must be managed to ensure the Council can provide tenants with well maintained and managed homes now and into the future.

The HRA Business Plan is the main tool to manage the housing landlord business, setting the priorities for spending and the plans and actions for the Council housing over the next 30 years.

The Business Plan demonstrates that we can maintain our existing housing assets, build new homes and meet the tenants needs in providing quality services.

In April 2012 the Government ended the Housing Revenue Account subsidy system. This means Cornwall Council can now keep rental income and use it to fund housing stock (called 'self-financing'). The HRA Business Plan ensures that priorities for self-financing are affordable and deliverable.

The priorities that will form the basis of the Business Plan over the 30 year timeframe are:

  • Continue to ensure that all council owned homes meet the Cornish Housing Standard (an enhanced Decent Homes Standard).
  • Services continue to be delivered to standards agreed in consultation with tenants and Cornwall Housing Ltd;
  • Delivering housing solutions for young people, people over 60 years of age and people of all ages with a disability to maintain independence.
  • Regeneration of HRA land to deliver improved estates and to enable the development of additional homes.
  • Mitigate some of the risks associated with Welfare Reform and the impact on income collection into the HRA.
  • Fire safety continues to be an important consideration and we will ensure that current and future regulations are met. Fire Safety is likely to be one of the focuses of the proposed Government green paper.
  • Energy efficiency in properties is an important factor as it can help our more vulnerable tenants keep warm and safe at an affordable cost.
  • Environmental improvements to council owned housing estates.

The priorities that are particularly identified for projects in the first five years of the Business Plan form part of the longer term priorities and will be supported by the identification of specific projects over the short term. These are identified as:

  • Ensuring and increasing the resilience of the HRA by investing to reduce costs or increase income;
  • Ensuring an equity of approach in terms of adaptations – adaptations being available to council tenants on the same basis as they are in the private sector through Disabled Facilities Grant;
  • New build, regeneration, re-modelling & acquisition;
  • Mitigate some of the specific risks associated with Welfare Reform;
  • Fire safety;
  • Energy efficiency;
  • Environmental improvements; and
  • Specific pressure points that arise and are unforeseen.

Full documents can be downloaded as follows: