Tenant Consultation by Councils about HRAs
45. In the 2020-21 HRA survey councils were asked about the extent and nature of any consultation they had undertaken with tenants in the previous year, for example, in terms of how the HRA budget had been spent or plans for future HRA expenditure. This follows the publication of 'Guidance on the Operation of the Local Authority Housing Revenue Accounts in Scotland' (2014)
which sets out a framework for the involvement of landlords and tenants regarding HRAs.
46. In 2020-21 Stirling council were unable to make a survey return. Their financial information has been rolled over from last year to allow Scotland totals and time series to continue to be produced. However the tenant information has not been rolled forward in this way. Twenty-three of the twenty-five returning councils reported that they had undertaken tenant consultation about the HRA in 2020-21, one council did not due to the COVID-19 restrictions and one council did not. The most frequently reported consultation topic was about rent rise proposals and HRA spending plans. Other topics included:
- council housing stock improvements
- service delivery
- impact of COVID-19 on household finances
- tenant priorities
- capital investment program
- value for money
47. Councils reported a variety of methods used to consult tenants about the HRA, the most frequent included online tenant consultations due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Other consultation methods included:
- tenant working groups
- tenant mailed letter
- tenant questionnaires
- tenant newsletters
- tenant magazines
- virtual tenant meetings
48. Councils were also asked if they had done an Audit of Compliance with the 'Guidance on the Operation of Local Authority HRAs in Scotland'
http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2014/03/1837. In 2020-21 fifteen councils reported that they had, two said they were planning to and eight said no.
49. In 2020-21 fifteen councils reported they had used the HRA
Self-Assessment Framework, nine said no and one gave no reply.
50. On the 2020-21 an additional question was added to this section of the survey as requested by the Scottish Government HRA tenant participation group as follows "In 2020/21 have any HRA surpluses been used to fund non-HRA costs incurred due to COVID-19 and if so by how much (£)?". All councils reported no in reply to this question.
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