Local Authority Housing Income and Expenditure: 1997-1998 to 2017-2018 (near actuals) and 2018-2019 (estimates)

Housing Revenue Account Statistics 2017-2018 including statistics bulletin, tables, charts, survey form and guidance.

Key Points

Balance of HRA housing income and expendiure

  • Total HRA housing income was £1.1bn in 2017-18, of which around £625m was spent on the day-to-day management and maintenance of housing and around £275m on loan charges.
  • This left a surplus of around £236m, of which around £228m was transferred to the council’s housing capital expenditure account and then invested in new build council houses and improvement to existing houses.
  • In 2017-18, rent rebate subsidy for council house tenants from Housing Benefit was around £562m or 50% of total income from standard rents. This has decreased each year since 2014-15 when it was 57%.

Scottish council housing stock and rents

  • There were 310,150 council houses in Scotland as at March 2018. This is a decrease of around 2,000 houses since March 2017. However, the number is forecast to rise to 311,320 (up 1,200) by March 2019.
  • Average rent per house was £69 per week in 2017-18, up by just under £1.50 on 2016-17. In 2017-18 average rents ranged from £57 per week in Moray to £94 in the City of Edinburgh.
  • Council rents have increased by around 13% (£8) since 2007-08 in real terms i.e. over and above general inflation. 

Management and maintenance of stock

  • Average expenditure on management and maintenance was £1,990 per house in 2017-18. Within this supervision and management costs were £790 per house, whilst repairs & maintenance costs were £1,200 per house.

Empty properties and rent arrears

  • Councils lost almost £18.5m due to empty properties (void losses) on all properties in 2017-18 or 1.6% of the Standard Rental Income on these properties, about the same in the last two years but below the peak of 3.7% in 2002-03.
  • As at March 2017, rent arrears on all council dwellings was £66m, up £2.4m (3.8%) on last year, representing 5.7% of Standard Rental Income from these dwellings. These arrears have been rising steadily year on year since March 2013.  
  • During the same period, the number of council tenants in arrears has increased by around 3,130 tenants to 99,760 and the number of former tenants in arrears also increase by 440 to 32,580 as at March 2018.

Housing Debt

  • In 2017-18 councils spent around £275m 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 2017-18 a decrease of around £5m (0.1%) on the previous year. The debt decreased for fourteen councils and increase for twelve councils. Councils borrowed this money to improve and build council houses.


Email: charles.brown@gov.scot

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