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Published 31 October 2017

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October 2018

Scotland's Housing Revenue Account (HRA) - Statistics Publication

r = revised on 10/04/2018.  More details can be found in the bulletin, charts and tables if needed.

KEY FINDINGS

Balance of HRA housing income and expenditure

  • 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.

  • 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. Councils borrowed this money to improve and build council houses.

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