Canterbury City Council will set its budget for 2022/23 in February 2022. We want to hear your views on our proposals for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget.
The HRA is funded from the rent and service charges we collect from more than 5,000 homes we own and manage.
HRA money can only be spent on services for council tenants and leaseholders.
It is a ring-fenced account and separate from the council’s main day-to-day spending budget (the General Fund).
We are consulting separately on proposals for the General Fund budget, you can read about those proposals and respond to the General Fund budget consultation here.
The HRA is under considerable financial pressure. This is mainly because of:
extra spending needed for repairs and maintenance
more people are struggling to pay their rent which reduces the amount of money coming in
So we need to make savings and generate extra income to make sure we can continue to provide services to our tenants and leaseholders.
For existing Canterbury City Council tenants, we are proposing to increase rent by CPI + 1%. This is in line with government policy.
CPI, or the Consumer Prices Index, is one way of measuring inflation or how much day-to-day living costs are going up such as the price of a loaf of bread or a pint of milk.
The CPI rate for 2022/23 is 3.1%, so rent would increase by 4.1%.
Service charges increase
Some tenants also have to pay service charges for specific things. This is usually for communal facilities in blocks of flats such as heating, lighting and cleaning and the charges are usually fairly small.
For 2022/23 we are proposing to increase service charges to either recover the actual cost of providing the services, or by CPI + 1% (so 4.1% in total), whichever is lowest. This is in line with government recommendations.
Garage rent increase
The garages the council lets out are part of the Housing Revenue Account.
A recent exercise to compare garage rents across east Kent shows the rent for garages in Canterbury are at least £1.72 a week lower than in our neighbouring districts.
We are therefore proposing to increase garage rents from £9.18 to £11.00 a week (for Crown Gardens garages, we are proposing to increase the rent from £11.73 to £13.55 a week). By law, the council has to charge VAT on top of the rent to people who rent our garages but are not council housing tenants.
You can see full details of all the proposals in the following documents: