Scottish Council Housing Income and Expenditure Statistics (2015-16)

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Statistics published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician show that in 2015-16 Scottish councils spent over £930m on the day-to-day management and maintenance of council housing. They also invested £655m in capital housing projects included £255m on new council houses and £400m on enhancement to existing council houses.  Tenants paid an average of £66 per week to rent their homes and the average Scottish rent remains lower than in both England (£86 per week) and Wales (£76 per week).    

These figures, published today, provide the latest Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Statistics detailing councils’ housing income and expenditure in 2015-16 and forecasts for 2016-17.   Other key figures include: 

Housing management and maintenance. The average amount spent on the day-to-day management and maintenance of council housing was £1,940 per house in 2015-16 and is forecast to rise to £1,950 next year.

Council houses and rents. Councils had an estimated 313,650 houses in Scotland at September 2016, a decrease of around 1,170 on 2015. In 2015-16 average council rents ranged from £52 per week in Moray to £93 per week in the City of Edinburgh.

Total HRA income and expenditure. Total HRA housing income was £1.15bn in 2015-16, of which £930m was spent on the day-to-day management and maintenance of housing. This left a surplus of £210m of which £190m was transferred to the councils’ housing capital expenditure account and then invested in additional housing capital projects, including new build council houses and stock enhancements to existing council houses.

Rent arrears. As at 31 March 2016, rent arrears on all properties on councils’ HRAs stood at £58m, representing 5.2% of total rental income on these properties. This is an increase of £5m on last year.

Housing debt. Councils are forecast to spend £290m on HRA loan charges (interest, capital repayment and loan fund expenses) in 2016-17, up £20m on 2015-16. Total council housing debt rose by £170m by March 2016 to reach £3.5bn. Councils borrow money to improve and build council houses.

Capital expenditure. Councils’ housing capital expenditure was around £655m in 2015-16 (this included the HRA surplus reported above). This included just over £255m on building new council houses and £400m on enhancements to existing council stock (in addition to the routine maintenance).

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

The full statistical publication, accompanying Excel tables, charts and full definitions can be accessed at

The bulletin covers the period 1997-98 up to Local Authorities’ near actual spend for 2015-16. The 2016-17 figures are budgeted estimates only and they will be revised in next year’s bulletin.

 The topics covered in this publication include:

  • housing stock and rents
  • management and maintenance of council stock
  • council stock void losses (empty properties) and tenant rent arrears
  • council housing debt
  • capital expenditure by councils

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards  – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:


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