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Investing in Council Homes

30 year budget simulator

How to use this simulator

The simulator allows you to decide what to include in the 30 year plan for council homes and how to pay for them.  It is a simulation and model for you to provide your view and is one of many inputs we will use to decide the business plan for the next 30 years.

The simulator starts at £3.66 billion.  This represents the cost of running the housing service for the next 30 years based on this years budget. It is the minimum required to provide homes to a decent standard. We are asking your views on options which are not already included in this budget.

Your first task is to add money by increasing the amount of rent or the amount you borrow. You can then spend the money. You should not spend more money than you have added.

We have a responsibility to produce a balanced budget, but if you feel you are unable to do so you can submit an unbalanced budget proposal to help us understand your preferences. Please be aware that if you choose to do so there is no guarantee all the priorities identified could actually be delivered.

Your answers will help Bristol City Council plan the budget for council homes for the next 30 years. The consultation ends on the 3rd December and the responses will be taken into consideration in developing final proposals by both Cabinet and Council Members when making their decision. The final decision on the HRA 30 year budget will be made at a full council meeting on the 15 February 2022. 

The numbers used in the simulator are based on actual costs, but they are not exact and should not be used for any other purpose. 

More information

Why we need your views

This is an opportunity to decide our key priorities for providing and maintaining council homes in Bristol for the next 30 years. We want to do this with as much input as possible from residents, councillors, colleagues and other organisations we work with.

We own and manage over 28,500 homes. The rents and service charges collected are used to provide services to the tenants and leaseholders living in these homes. They are also used to repair, maintain, and improve the homes, communal areas, blocks and estates.

We work to a balanced 30-year business plan, to make sure essential services and investments can be provided in the future. There are many challenges in providing and managing our housing, including how we prioritise competing demands for investment that include:

We're asking for views on how we prioritise these competing demands. Any increase in costs needs to be funded, through an increase in rents and by borrowing more. We are also asking for views on how we fund any additional costs and investments. Even if we borrow more and increase rents, we still must make difficult choices about what to prioritise as there is a limit to what is affordable. 

There are core services we need to provide to keep our homes safe and well-maintained, and to make sure we manage tenancies and support communities. Much of our future income is committed to delivering these core services and that won’t change.

These services include, but are not limited to: 

The 2021-22 Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget

Below is an overview of how the rents and service charges paid by our tenants and leaseholders will be spent during this financial year 2021-22. 

Item Amount
Repairs and maintenance £33.9m
Improvements to existing housing stock £34.6m
Managing tenancies £32.2m
Interest on borrowing £11.2m
Special services £9.8m
Other £0.5m

The largest areas of spend are improvements to the existing stock, followed by repairs and maintenance then services to manage tenancies. This includes collecting income, tackling anti-social behaviour and breaches of tenancy conditions, dealing with tenancy changes, providing support. 

For 2021-22 there is also a £64.8m budget to build or buy new homes that will be managed within the HRA. These homes are funded from other funding sources including retained right to buy receipts, that can only be used for providing new homes. 

30-year business plan

The table below shows how rents and service charge income would be spent over the next 30 years, if we provided the same level of service and costs remained the same (zero inflation). 

We know costs will change, the figures provide a simplified starting point. The budget simulator uses these same figures.

  30 year cost based on 2021-22 budget
Repairs and maintenance £1,017m
Improvements to existing stock £1,038m
Managing tenancies £966m
Interest on borrowing £336m
Special services £294m
Other £15m
Total £3,666m
Total £3,666bn

2022-2023 budget

Every financial year the HRA sets a new annual budget, which is updated to reflect expected changes including:

For 2022-23 it is anticipated there will be significant increase in costs for materials and utilities, for example:

Whilst every effort is made to deliver value for money, we are being effected by national issues and challenges.

It is likely that next year we will need to spend more to deliver our core services and planned levels of maintenance and investment.  These are things we must do to meet our legal and regulatory responsibilities, so are not open to consultation.

Plan your budget