Housing Revenue Account (HRA) statistics: local authority housing income and expenditure 1997-1998 to 2019-2020 (near actuals) and 2020-2021 (budgeted estimates)

This annual publication provides information on trends in the balance of HRA housing income and expenditure; the amount Scottish councils earned from housing and other council stock, how they spent this income and whether there was a surplus or deficit at year end.

Movement in the HRA reserves (chart 12) (table 2a, table 3)

36. In any given year, expenditure on the day-to-day maintenance and management of council housing tends to be less than the income from council house rents. The surplus income is spent on capital investment in housing including new council houses and improvements to existing stock (these improvements are in addition to the day-to-day maintenance) or added to the HRA reserves.

37. In 2019-20 Scottish Local Authorities had a surplus on their HRA (i.e. income minus expenditure) totalling £253m, which contributed to £237m of capital funded from revenue when added to other transfers into the HRA from other funds.

38. In 2019-20 just under £9m, was transferred out of the HRA fund into other council funds such as the Housing Repairs and Renewals Contingency Fund Funds transferred or to fund such items as the HRA Capital Plan. Equally some small sums were transferred into the HRA fund (just under £25m in 2019-20).

Chart 12: HRA surplus (year end) and what it is spent on (mainly housing and transfer to other housing related council funds 1), Scotland, 1997-98 to 2020-21 2,3
Line chart showing housing revenue account surplus or deficit at year end and expenditure of surplus, in Scotland, from 1997-98 to 2020-21

Source: Current prices: Scottish Government, Communities Analytical Division - based on Housing Revenue Account return provided by Scottish Local Authorities. Constant prices: ONS Consumer Price All Items Index on which 2015 = 100.


1. Six councils transferred their housing stock to the housing association sector, therefore HRA information is not available for them.

2. Vertical lines indicate breaks in comparability following transfer of housing stock as follows:

  • From 2003-04 transfer of housing stock from Glasgow City, Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders,
  • from 2006-07 transfer of housing stock from Argyll and Bute and Na h-Eileanan Siar,
  • from 2007-08 transfer of housing stock from Inverclyde.

3. Figures for 2020 and 2021 may have been impacted on by the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions. Consideration should be given to the impact of these restrictions when making any comparisons with other years.



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