Cllr Douglas Johnson – Chair of the Housing Committee

“I am very pleased and proud to present this year’s Housing Revenue Account, business plan and budget to this council.

“This item is on behalf of the tenants of Sheffield City Council and concerns what they – our tenants – pay and how we manage it on their behalf. We provide services of tenancy management, repairs and estate maintenance. We invest in planned maintenance and extensive major repairs such as roof replacements and insulation schemes. We also build new homes. We supply a panoply of other services to a huge number of tenants, some of whom are highly disadvantaged in this city.

“We should be proud of providing this public service of over 38,000 households. Many local authorities sold off their housing stock; Sheffield did not – although it dabbled with outsourcing of its repairs service until it was finally brought back in house.

“Housing should be seen as a basic human right and, as I say, one we should be proud to deliver.

“So, I want to thank all our hundreds of staff who make this mammoth undertaking happen. I know they don’t always get the respect they deserve for doing their best to look after people’s homes.

“I also know we don’t always get it right. But let’s face it – cases of disrepair in council homes still make the news. It is easy to overlook the fact that hundreds of repairs are carried out successfully every day.

“In the Housing Committee’s climate statement, we note that 82% of all our council homes have energy performance certificates in bands A, B and C. I know EPCs aren’t the only or best measure but how favourably this contrasts with the vast bulk of the city’s private rented sector. The shocking equivalent for Sheffield’s private rented homes is only 23%.

“In this budget, we are asking the council to increase council rents by the standards amount permitted by government. To do otherwise would be to vote for cuts in jobs and services to tenants.

“I therefore commend this Housing Revenue account to the council.”