Skip to content

Joint Rent Group 

Thursday 15 April 2021, 10.30am 

Via zoom

 

Attendees:

Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), Georgia McCambley (tenant volunteer), June Todd ( tenant volunteer),  Janine Corr (HRA Accountant), Alan Young (Housing Asset & Investment Manager),  Stefan Kristmanns ( Housing Development Co-ordinator) and Jane Mack (Senior Housing Development Officer, Tenant Participation) and  Cllr Diane Docherty.

Welcome and apologies

Apologies received from Billy Neeson ( tenant volunteer) Janice Rainey (Finance Manager) John Ker (Homelessness & Housing Dev Manager),Edward Thomas ( Housing Operations Manager) and Martin Feeney ( Building services Manager)

Discussion on remaining HRA Guidance self assessment template

SHN template for assessing compliance against HRA Guidance shared on screen and Jane talked through the evidence that officers had put forward for the remaining criteria.
Each criteria was discussed and the evidence updated from discussion –whether criteria met or not also noted for each.
Main action points,

  • HRA compliance template now completed and actions needed to met full compliance identified and created into an action sheet. Updated copies to be circulated to JRG members.
  • Stefan will compile a summary report for the Housing Improvement Board (HIB) meeting on 26/4 to get senior agreement - particularly needed on DLO Surplus issue.
  • Officers to commit to target dates and assign responsible officers for each of the actions
  • Tenant members of the JRG to discuss at their next meeting and ensure they are in agreement with proposed timescales.

HRA Revenue budget decision- making matrix

Copy of matrix had been distributed to the group members ahead of the meeting and was shared onscreen.
Janine reminded members that the idea behind the matrix, which had already been developed for the Capital Budget, was to increase transparency around how HRA decisions are made and to identify where and how tenants could get more involved. Janine then explained the columns of the matrix and went through the initial budget lines to demonstrate .
Agreed was a really useful tool and tenants will discuss further at their next meeting to identify if specific budget lines they particularly interested in and how they want to be involved.

AOB

John raised issued that Council has been in discussion again with S Government about the different grants that Local authorities and RSLs get for new build properties. Strong argument been put forward and SG agreed to half the difference in the grant rate but this doesn’t resolve the parity issue. Issue going to be raised through Tenants Regional Network and John looking for tenant support which they happy to give. John will put together a brief note on the issue and send onto WDTRO.

Date of next meeting

Initially 20/5 but being re-scheduled to Thursday 27/5 , 10:30am

Next full JRG will be Thursday 17 June at 10:30am via zoom.

Agreed would get back to full JRGs being every 2 months and tenants still meet monthly.
Jane will send out calendar invites to officers and confirm meeting dates for the rest of the year.

Joint Rent Group Assessment of Compliance with HRA Guidance

Joint Rent Group Assessment of Compliance with HRA Guidance
Criteria Agreed action Who and when by Progress

1.2 A mechanism for providing information about the performance of the HRA has been agreed with tenants, and is subject to regular review

Formally review the content of the HRA methodology workbook with the JRG and WDTRO and review the format of the document to ensure it meets accessibility criteria   

Janice

July 2021

 

1.3 The landlord tests views to ensure that tenants are clear why and how costs have been allocated to the HRA

JRG029

Arrange for template / matrix to be completed for Revenue Budget and shared with JRG

Janine

Aug 2020

Complete

 

2.5 HRA decision-making, including the involvement of tenants, can be fully evidenced

Include tenants in forming the options for the rent consultation and for process to begin after Summer recess, timeline to be reviewed

John

Aug 2020

 

2.7 Sales of HRA assets, other than Right to Buy sales, achieve the best possible outcome for tenants or future tenants

Updated HRA Asset Register to be shared with JRG

John

 

3.5 Clearly identified resources, including development resources for staff and tenants, exist in order to support high-quality HRA decision-making

Look at more formal accredited training and development opportunities that are available and encourage tenants to highlight areas for their own development.

Stefan/Jane

On-going

 

2.3 A robust, written methodology for the allocation of costs to the HRA is regularly reviewed and updated.

 

 

JRG028

HRA methodology regarding the DLO Surplus. Agreement that amended statement doesn’t improve transparency – should include how it’s calculated  and an explanation about how the level is set–tenants want to ensure it is fair (was previously limited to 5%). JRG 17/12/20 still outstanding and tenants disappointed that been no action and the HRA methodology still had the same statement. Statement doesn’t increase transparency and should explain how it is calculated  and how does it get agreed annually? Used to be set at 5% and tenants want to know if this is still the target?

 

John/Janice

Feb 2020

 

 

Outstanding

Page 5 of the Guidance when discussing allocation of costs to the HRA states "iii. that there is a robust, written methodology for calculating and allocating HRA costs (including internal costs charged by the Council to the HRA) in sufficient financial detail for tenants to understand why costs are being charged and who is benefiting from the services these costs relate to. This must include the allocation to the HRA of the appropriate proportion of council Trading Operation surpluses attributable to council housing activities. Furthermore, the HRA cost allocation methodology must also be updated regularly to reflect changes in legislation, statutory guidance, codes of practice, the market for HRA goods and services and any other relevant changes (section 7 of this Guidance)

Information to be provided to JRG around any plans to allocate to the HRA the appropriate DLO surplus attributable to council housing activities in order to comply with this criteria

Peter/

Stephen West

Prior to next rent setting consultation?

 

3.2 The leadership ensure a long-term plan for the HRA including the management of assets, generation of income and mitigation of risks

Page to be inserted into the HRA methodology which references and summarises the 30 year Business Plan

Janice

Aug 2020

 

7 Differences arising between actual income and spend (and how these are recorded) are clearly identified

Tenant friendly versions of HRA finance updates now produced but not published as part of committee papers as there is a specific format for them. Agreed that they could be put on the TP webpages so that they are publically available.

Jane

May 2021

 

8 Tenants are clear why surpluses have accrued and how these are used and kept in the HRA

Finance reports (BCR s) report adverse and positive variances – develop the tenant friendly version to make is clearer to tenants the surpluses that exist and that these are kept within the HRA

Janine

May 2021

 

1.5 The landlord tests views to ensure that tenants are clear about the link between resources, activities and how the organisation achieves Scottish Social Housing Charter Outcomes

Explore with JRG how to best 'test' tenant views to ensure tenants are clear about link between resources and activities

Stefan

Aug 2020

 

2.10 The HRA appropriately charges for the proportionate costs of the delivery of services to owner-occupiers

Owners are appropriately charged. Owners Charter which caps bills for owners at not more than 5% of final estimate and other charges. This has potential impact on HRA if final bill is over 5% from final estimate, although there is a monitoring process in place to ensure process is effective and capping is minimised.  AY advised regular reports were previously provided which quantified this cost to HRA (was  very low– in last quarter only 37 out of 97 jobs affected). Agreed to provide report to JRG on an annual basis.

Alan

May 2021

 

2.2 Mechanisms exist for the regular review of HRA assets to ensure that they generate a net benefit to tenants wherever possible. (Op)

Report/briefing note to JRG to confirm that regular review of HRA assets takes place as part of the Asset Management Strategy and that this includes housing stock, lock-ups, garage site and other assets owned by the HRA to ensure that they generate a net benefit to tenants.

John

Aug 2021

 

Joint Rent Group

 Thursday 18 March 2021, 10.30am Via zoom

 

Attendees

Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), Georgia McCambley (tenant volunteer), June Todd ( tenant volunteer),  Janine Corr (HRA Accountant), Alan Young (Housing Asset & Investment Manager),  Stefan Kristmanns ( Housing Development Co-ordinator) and Jane Mack (Senior Housing Development Officer, Tenant Participation) and  Cllr Diane Docherty.

Welcome and apologies

Apologies received from Billy Neeson ( tenant volunteer) Janice Rainey (Finance Manager) John Ker (Homelessness & Housing Dev Manager),Edward Thomas ( Housing Operations Manager) and Martin Feeney ( Building services Manager)

Discussion on HRA Guidance self assessment template

SHN template for assessing compliance against HRA Guidance shared on screen and Stefan talked through the evidence that officers had put forward for meeting each criteria.

Each criteria was discussed and the evidence updated – criteria being met is either fully, partially and not at all. Carried on from line 35.

Main action points:

  • 2.2 Asset register reviewed annually – needs to include lock-ups and shops in evaluation to ensure they are still an asset and pay their way. Jackie and John to confirm the current practice to review assets.
  • 2.9 HRA Business plan to be added as evidence as it ensures its prudent, affordable and sustainable.
  • 3.2 Leadership refers to Management and elected members. Regular updates go to the Housing & Communities Committee.
  • Line 44 -Methodology is updated annually and been improved to show proportion of HRA internal costs. Statement re DLO surplus that was added to methodology still not transparent – outstanding JRG action JRG028 . Also no evidence regarding allocation to HRA re trading surpluses or justification for it going to General Fund.

Looking for evidence or proposed actions to get us to full compliance. Need Senior managers involved to direct actions. Stefan to produce a summary of the review for HIB meeting on 29/3 and officers to respond with proposed actions for tenant to discuss at their next meeting.

Agreed that the areas where not fully compliant will become the workplan for the Joint Rent Group meetings and will revert to alternative meeting being just for tenants and officers attending every second meeting.

Date of next meeting

Thursday 15 April, 10:30am – full Joint Rent Group to consider remaining evidence

Joint Rent Group 

Thursday 18 February 2021, 10.30am 

Via zoom

 

Attendees: Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), Billy Neeson (tenant volunteer), Georgia McCambley (tenant volunteer), June Todd ( tenant volunteer),  John Ker (Homelessness & Housing Dev Manager),Edward Thomas ( Housing Operations Manager), Janine Corr (HRA Accountant), Alan Young (Housing Asset & Investment Manager),  Stefan Kristmanns ( Housing Development Co-ordinator) and Jane Mack (Senior Housing Development Officer, Tenant Participation). Cllr Diane Docherty joined meeting for last half hour.

Welcome and Apologies

Apologies received from Janice Rainey (Finance Manager) 

Discussion on HRA Guidance self assessment template

Stefan shared screen showing tenant and landlord criteria from the SHN template and talked through the evidence that officers had put forward for meeting each criteria.

Each criteria was discussed and the evidence updated – criteria being met is either fully, partially and not at all.

Main action points,

  • 2 HRA Business plan – committed to review annually and could share with tenants as part of rent setting consultation. Proposal to include a page in the HRA methodology to reference the Business Plan and point out the implications for any rent options.
  • Tenant friendly versions of HRA finance updates now produced but not published as part of committee papers as there is a specific format for them. Agreed that they could be put on the TP webpages so that they are publically available.
  • Tenant criteria 8 (line 25) – surpluses stay within the HRA as needs to balance. Finance reports (BCR s) report adverse and positive variances – tenant friendly versions to be amended to make the implications clearer.
  • 5 investigate how other landlords ‘test’ tenant views.
  • 2.10 Increased transparency about impact of Owners Charter exists and Alan monitors % of jobs affected by 5% cap. Template previously used to demonstrate this and will be shared with JRG – in last quarter only 37 out of 97 jobs affected. Also need to balance with overall benefit to tenants if more owners agree to communal work getting done and Owner Charter helps .

Date of next meeting

Thursday 18 March, 10:30am – full JRG to complete self assessment template.

Joint Rent Group

 Thursday 21 January 2021, 10.30am

 Via zoom

Attendees

Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), Billy Neeson (tenant volunteer), Georgia McCambley (tenant volunteer), Cllr Diane Docherty, John Ker (Homelessness & Housing Dev Manager), Janice Rainey, (Finance Manager), Janine Corr (HRA Accountant), Alan Young (Housing Asset & Investment Manager),  Stefan Kristmanns ( Housing Development Co-ordinator) and Jane Mack (Senior Housing Development Officer, Tenant Participation).

Welcome and Apologies

Apologies received from June Todd, Martin Feeney and Edward Thomas.

Discussion on HRA Guidance self assessment template

Stefan shared screen showing tenant and landlord criteria from the SHN template and talked through the evidence that officers had put forward for meeting each criteria.

Each criteria was discussed and the evidence updated – criteria being met is either fully, partially and not at all.

Main action points,

1.3 refers to Revenue matrix which has still to be circulated to group and can then be discussed at a future meeting.

2.5 Agreed that need more tenant involvement in rent setting decision-making . COVID affected this years timetable but in future agreed end of August would start discussions with JRG to ensure discussion on potential options and to ensure process not ruched.

2.7 Updated Asset Register to be shared with JRG.

Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 18 February, 10:30am – full JRG to continue self assessment template.