Welcome to the new website of our Council Housing Debt Campaign initiated by Swindon Tenants Campaign Group. You can read our Appeal, see the list of supporting individuals and organisations, and read in more detail about how existing council housing is being starved of the funding it needs to maintain and renew homes to a high standard. Just click the blue bar to the right to follow our site and you will be automatically updated on what’s new on the site.
For new articles visit our Blog.
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A NEW SITE WHICH IS UNDER DEVELOPMENT.
Housing revenue accounts (HRAs) are ring-fenced accounts with a local authority General Fund, which keep the funding for council housing apart from council tax and other funds. These HRAs are facing a funding crisis as a result of
- ‘debt’ imposed on councils in 2012 when a new finance system, ‘self-financing’, was introduced and
- government policies since 2012 which have served to starve them of income needed to maintain and renew existing council housing.
As a result of policies such as the 4 year rent cut (1% cut each year) and increased discounts for right to buy sales, councils are losing hundreds of millions of pounds over the course of their 30 year business plans. This has forced them to cut back on renewal of key components such as roofs, bathrooms, kitchens etc. Inevitably this can only lead to a deterioration in the condition of the existing housing stock.
Cuts in spending can also have life threatening consequences as has been been seen in the case of Grenfell Tower .
Swindon Tenants Campaign Group initiated this Appeal to the Labour Party calling on it to
- press the government to ‘reopen the debt settlement’ in which 136 councils were loaded up with an extra £13 billion bogus ‘debt’, and
- to cut this ‘debt’ in line with the income lost by councils as a result of coalition and Tory government policies.
We believe that Labour should be challenging the government as a matter of urgency to stop this starvation of local authority HRAs and to fund them sufficiently to ensure that the homes are maintained and renewed to a high standard.
We would ask you to read the Appeal and if you agree with it add your name/organisation to the list of signatories. This is an issue which is critical for the future of council housing.