- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Categories: Latest News, Press Releases
Swansea East AM Mike Hedges has today welcomed a new agreement reached between the Treasury and Welsh Government, which will see Welsh councils become self-financing by retaining all of their rental income from their tenants.
Under the new agreement, which was secured by Welsh Finance Minister Jane Hutt, Wales’ 11 local authorities with housing stock will exit from the Treasury’s Housing Revenue Account Subsidy (HRAS), which currently sees around £73 million in rental income returned to the Treasury each year.
Reform in this area will provide a real benefit to the 11 local authorities in Wales that still have housing stock, as it grants them self-financing abilities along with the flexibility to invest and improve their current housing stock.
Speaking from the Senedd, Mike Hedges AM said:
“The Housing Revenue Account Subsidy formula is a notoriously bureaucratic and complex system which has seen money transferred away from Welsh councils, reducing the funds they have to invest in and improve homes.
“Reform in this area, which I have previously called for, is well overdue. That’s why I’m pleased to welcome today’s announcement, which will now put our Welsh councils with housing in the same position as England, and will also give them the flexibility to manage and re-invest in their own housing to benefit tenants.
“As one of the councils with housing stock, I look forward to seeing Swansea Council put this extra cash to good use by ensuring that all of their housing stock is improved and meets the Welsh Homes Quality Standard.”
The Welsh Government’s Minister for Finance, Jane Hutt said:
“The HRAS system is complex and the negotiations have had to take account of differences in the way the system has operated in England and Wales. I would like to thank the Chief Secretary to the Treasury for his support in securing this agreement which will enable Welsh local authorities with housing stock to become self-financing and retain all of their rental income.”