Hidden away in the York Council’s accounts is an admission that the 2016/17 in year surplus on its housing revenue account was £4.3 million.
Officials continue to parrot familiar justifications for the profit. These include a bogus assumption that the present governments rent reduction formulae will continue (a ploy aimed at reducing the central housing benefit bill) and even mention the now discredited proposal to sell off high value Council houses. The latter was kicked into the long grass even before the Tories suffered their General Election setback.
So, does it matter that the surplus on the housing account is relatively high now standing at £22.7 million?
It certainly does to tenants.
Poor maintenance issues continue to be a problem with no proactive management of communal areas. Too many of our estates are now literally overgrown with routine maintenance programmes having been all but abandoned (although the tenant’s choice modernisation programmes continue to run on schedule)
The report to the Council’s Executive also confirms that there have been delays in updating fire assessment work – an uncomfortable admission after recent events in London and confirmation of what we found when visiting some flats last weekend.