Agreement on self-financing for local authority housing reached

Council housing in Denbighshire could see significant improvements, as a deal is reached between the UK Treasury and the Welsh Government for local authorities to be able to exit Housing Revenue Account Subsidy (HRAS) system.

Instead of paying annual fees to the UK Government, local authorities in Wales (including Denbighshire) will have more to spend on bringing their homes up to the Wales Housing Quality Standard which will bring real and tangible benefits to their tenants.

Welcoming the announcement, Labour AM for the Vale of Clwyd, Ann Jones said: “This is fantastic news. I’m very pleased that instead of sending council tax payers money to the UK Government, money can now be spent on making council houses safer and more secure.

The agreement means that in future the 11 Welsh local authorities that still have housing stock will be in a similar position to stock-owning local authorities in England, where the HRAS system was replaced by self-financing arrangements in March 2012.

This will provide a benefit to the 11 authorities as they will have the financial flexibility to invest in housing.

Mrs Jones added: “I encourage Denbighshire County Council to use the money freed up to revitalise and improve housing stock”.

Last year, the 11 local authorities sent £73 million to the UK Government.