We have circulated the following model resolution aimed at local Labour Parties with a view to them passing the resolution and sending it forward to the September Labour Party conference.
Labour Conference resolution
Local authority Housing Revenue Account under-funding
This conference recognises that local authority HRAs are seriously under-funded as a result of
1) £13 billion extra ‘debt’ imposed on councils in the 2012 ‘debt settlement’. This ‘debt’ is the result of manipulation by the Treasury over many years. In reality tenants have paid more in rent that the historic cost of borrowing to build council homes. Between 1994/5 and 2008/9 council tenants paid £31 billion more in rent than was received by councils in annual ‘allowances’.
2) Coalition and Tory government policies since 2012. The four year rent cut and a fourfold increase in RTB sales, mean that councils are collecting hundreds of million pounds less rent than projected in the 2012 settlement. Hence HRAs have insufficient income to maintain existing council housing and to renew key housing components in good time. This will inevitably lead to a deterioration in the condition of homes.
In order to resolve this funding crisis Labour will
1) Highlight the responsibility of the Tories for it. Demand that the government use its powers under the Localism Act to ‘reopen the settlement’ and cut the ‘debt’ in line with projected losses of rental income over the course of their 30 year business plans, resulting from their policies since 2012.
2) Commit to cancelling all HRA debt held by the Public Works Loans Board, when in government. A Labour government will end the historic injustice of debt being manipulated to fleece tenants who have to pay for servicing it, by cancelling this fictitious debt.
You can download a copy here lpresolution
It also contains a summary of the issue.