Housing and Property Committee agrees to add current year underspend to 2021/22 budget
At today’s meeting of the Highland Council’s Housing and Property Committee, members approved the budget position for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget Programme Monitoring Report. In addition, they agreed for the projected year-end HRA surplus to be added back to HRA Revenue budget for repairs and maintenance for financial year 2021/22.
Members recognised that a reduced level of council house repairs and other maintenance work had been undertaken within the estate during the 2020/21 financial year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Reduced ability to carry out day to day housing repairs under the circumstances has therefore produced an underspend in the budget and a backlog of maintenance work.
Members acknowledged the volume of outstanding maintenance work still to be carried out, along with the need to ensure funds ear-marked for this purpose within the current year’s budget be carried forward and utilised to increase the 2021/22 HRA Revenue budget for repairs and maintenance.
Members were also informed that progress against the mainstream HRA programme continues to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic with capital works in Council housing currently suspended in line with government guidelines.
However, the Council remains committed to carrying out the agreed programme when government guidelines permit.
Chair of the Housing and Property Committee, Councillor Ben Thompson, said: “I would like to thank Council house tenants for their patience and understanding of the restricted circumstances which the housing and property teams have been working within over the last 12 months.”
“I am pleased that we were able to reach agreement today to carry forward unspent money for repairs into the next financial year. This will support the resources available next year to successfully provide services to our tenants.”