The Cabinet Member for Housing presented a report on the proposed Housing Capital Investment Programme for 2011/12 and the longer-term proposals for investment in Council housing stock which are to be contained in the Housing Asset Management Strategy, due to be presented to Cabinet later this year.
The investment programme for 2011/12 proposed expenditure of £13.498m on a range of projects and officers clarified particular issues raised in respect of the high rise surveys project and remedial works to Oldmead and Bartlett Houses to resolve a problem with low water pressure. The Divisional Director of Assets and Commercial Services confirmed that all projects within the programme would undergo value for money assessments prior to any works being carried out.
The Leader remarked on the reference in the report by the Corporate Director of Finance and Resources to a shortfall of £1m in the funding of the programme and reminded officers that reports should not come before Cabinet with unresolved financial issues. The Corporate Director of Customer Services acknowledged the Leader’s point and confirmed that the funding issue had been resolved, with the sum being met from the Leaseholder Reserve fund.
The Cabinet Member referred to the four main threads within the longer term Housing Asset Management Strategy, namely the Decent Homes investment programme, the Estate Renewal programme, the New Build programme and the accessing of additional sources of investment / funding. He also spoke on the benefits that the new national Housing Revenue Account (HRA) self-financing system would bring to the Council and its tenants when it is introduced in April 2012, adding that the £20m+ per annum that this Council had been required to pay to Central Government under the Housing Subsidy system would now be able to be directed to improving and enhancing the Council’s housing stock.
(i) The prioritised housing investment programme of works for 2011/12 as set out in Appendix 1 to the report;
(ii) To delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Customer Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing and the Divisional Director of Legal and Democratic Services, to agree in accordance with the Council’s CPMO gateway programme the procurement strategies, terms and conditions and award of contracts for the schemes set out in Appendix 1; and
(iii) That all Councillors be advised of the details of each of the projects listed in Appendix 1 prior to works commencing.
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