Publication - Statistics

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) statistics: income and expenditure

Published: 31 Oct 2017
Housing and Social Justice Directorate
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This bulletin presents statistics on local authority housing income and expenditure in Scotland from their Housing Revenue Accounts (HRAs).

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Housing Revenue Account (HRA) statistics: income and expenditure
Key Points

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Key Points

Balance of HRA housing income and expendiure

  • Total HRA housing income was £1.15bn in 2016-17, of which around £620m was spent on the day-to-day management and maintenance of housing and around £270m on loan charges.
  • This left a surplus of around £225m, of which around £200m was transferred to the council's housing capital expenditure account and then invested in new build council houses and improvement to existing houses.
  • In 2016-17, rent rebate subsidy for council house tenants from Housing Benefit was around £581m or 53% of total income from standard rents. This has decreased each year since 2014-15 when it was 57%.

Scottish council housing stock and rents

  • Councils had 312,100 houses at March 2017, down 1,600 on March 2016. However the number of properties is estimated to increase by around 900 to almost 313,000 by March 2018.
  • Average rent per house was £68 per week in 2016-17, up £2 or 3% on 2015-16. In 2016-17 average rents ranged from £55 per week in Moray to £94 in the City of Edinburgh.
  • Council rents have increased by around 1.6% since 2015-16 in real terms i.e. over and above general inflation.

Management and maintenance of stock

  • Average expenditure on management and maintenance was £1,955 per house in 2016-17. Within this supervision and management costs were £785 per house, whilst repairs & maintenance costs were £1,170 per house.

Empty properties and rent arrears

  • Councils lost almost £18m due to empty properties (void losses) on all properties in 2016-17 or 1.6% of the Standard Rental Income on these properties, about the same in the last three years but below the peak of 3.7% in 2002-03.
  • As at March 2017, rent arrears on all council dwellings was £64m, up £2.5m (4%) on last year, representing 5.8% of Standard Rental Income from these dwellings. These arrears have been rising steadily year on year since March 2013[r].
  • During the same period, the number of council tenants in arrears has dropped by around 800 tenants or 1.0% to 96,650 and the number of former tenants in arrears also decreased by around 750 tenants or 2.0% to around 32,150.

Housing Debt

  • In 2016-17 councils spent around £270m on loan charges to the HRA (which includes interest, capital repayment and loan fund expenses), the same as in the previous year.
  • Total estimated council housing debt stood at £3.6bn in 2016-17 an increase of around £140m (3%) on the previous year. However the debt decreased for eight councils and was no higher for six councils. Councils borrowed this money to improve and build council houses.