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housing budget in Northampton 15 Dec 2023 Councillors to discuss proposed adjustments to housing budget in Northampton

West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Cabinet will meet next week to discuss plans to consult over housing budgets for 2024/25.

Funding from the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) is spent on maintaining and improving social housing, including building new homes. Within the HRA there are plans to invest £54m in social housing during the next financial year, which forms part of a total five year capital programme amounting to £279m. Also built into the plans is investment in decarbonisation which is estimated to impact on 500 homes.

The investment in 2024-25 includes:

£7m on external improvements
£11m on internal works improvements
£2.3m on disabled adaptations
£24m on new build programmes and major projects; and
£10m on buying back social housing and for spot purchases of suitable properties.

The Council has submitted a draft budget proposal for 2024-25 proposing an increase of 7.7% in accordance with the Government’s amended Rent Standard, with effect from 1 April 2024. 

This is expected to see the average rent increase from £103.79 to £111.79 per week. The proposals continue to provide support to tenants facing difficulties with the increase in rent, through a hardship fund. In addition to this, the majority of tenants also receive financial support from the Government towards rent payments.

At their meeting next week (Tuesday, 12 December), Cabinet members will initially consider the draft proposals, with a six-week public consultation launching the following day (13 December) enabling residents to have their say ahead of the final budget going to Full Council in February. 

Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure said: “Rent income helps maintain and improve the current homes we have, and build more homes for future generations, so this budget will allow us to keep doing these important things. 
 
“Like most local authorities across the country, we are facing rising inflation rates driving up running costs, as well as a significant increase in demand for social housing and the need for a full condition survey of every property the Council owns under new Social Housing regulations. 
 
“We recognise the financial pressures that people are under, however, the proposed increase is in line with growing costs, and we have made it a priority to ensure that we keep our support measures in place for those tenants who need our help the most.” 

The Cabinet will consider the draft budget proposal during their meeting at The Forum, Towcester, from 6pm on Tuesday, 12 December – this can be watched live via the?Council’s YouTube Channel. 

The full 2024/25 draft budget reports are available at?Agenda for Cabinet on Tuesday 12 December 2023.