- Available in: PDF
- Published: November 1, 2013
Stock retaining councils all over England are now familiar with the new Housing Revenue Account (HRA) framework, which allows for the self-financing of council housing. Although the new regime has its critics, the HRA reform (Localism Act 2011) achieved cross-party support and is widely viewed as an opportunity for councils to improve their housing management and maintenance, strengthen local housing partnerships, enhance accountability, and support new build (including new council homes). This survey takes a snapshot of how the new HRA system is performing and asks what it has to offer councils and council tenants. The survey is distinctive in that all the respondents are elected councillors who have lead responsibility for housing in their area. The results make for interesting reading, not least in highlighting the priority councillors give to social housing. New build council housing is seen as a top priority and there is overwhelming support for abolition of the debt cap on HRA borrowing. By all accounts the survey shows that council housing has a future under the HRA system, albeit perhaps on a more modest scale than is sometimes suggested.