Magazine article Public Finance

Include Us in Housing Finance Reform, Say Councils

Magazine article Public Finance

Include Us in Housing Finance Reform, Say Councils

Article excerpt

Councils that manage their own homes are urging the government not to exclude them from longawaited changes to the housing finance system.

Last year the Audit Commission warned that the subsidy system, by which money raised through rents is redistributed among local authorities, urgently needs reform.

More than 80% of councils pay more into the system than they receive and would be better off without it.

But speaking this week at a conference on decent homes, Neil McDonald, director of housing at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, indicated that any changes will be limited to high-performing arms-length management organisations.

Ninety-eight councils have told the ODPM they can meet the decent homes target without setting up an Almo or transferring their stock to a housing association.

Bernie Brannan, director of housing at Swindon Borough Council, said it was unfair to other authorities to focus on Almos, many of which are net gainers from the subsidy system. …

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