Regional board forced to change plan
The East Midlands Regional Housing Board has changed a key recommendation in its regional housing strategy following government intervention.The board has been overruled after originally proposing to allocate 100 per cent Housing Investment Programme funding to Derby Council despite the government's recommendation that boards should reduce allocations to around 70 per cent.Using financial data supplied by Derby Council the board had decided to raise the authority's allocation to 100 per cent to enable its arm's-length management organisation Derby Homes to meet the decent homes target. The council argued that a total of 1,319 homes would miss the target without the full allocation.But following ‘extensive discussions' between the board and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the board has decided to allocate the council 75 per cent HIP. The council's community and housing strategy manager Jonathan Geall said the organisation was ‘disappointed' with the outcome. He said the council would now be looking to make up the £2 million shortfall from cash originally earmarked for its private sector renewal programme. ‘It is disappointing whereby we spent a lot of effort doing our detailed projections based on information from ODPM,' Mr Geall said. ‘It has left us now having to really look [again] at our capital fund and for us to piece it together.' A covering note from the regional board with the regional housing strategy notes that the 75 per cent allocation will mean ‘a reduction elsewhere' in the council's capital programme. ‘But this is the same position as other authorities in the region and reflects the need for the regional housing board to balance competing priorities,' it states. ‘Without the transfer of resource from existing stock to new affordable social housing provision, the regional housing board will not be able to meet expectations with regard to delivery of new affordable social housing in the region.' "