The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Alan Aisbett of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This Practice Note covers the local authority housing revenue account (HRA) in England. Technically the HRA legislation embraces only local housing authorities (LHAs) as defined in section 1 of the Housing Act 1985 (HA 1985) who are required by section 74 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (LGHA 1989) to keep an HRA unless the Secretary of State has consented to them not doing so (usually where an LHA has transferred all of its stock). The account must show credits and debits arising from the LHA's activities as owners of land and houses, acquired or provided under powers contained in HA 1985, Pt II.
The HRA is part of the General Fund of an LHA. However, unlike other local authority activities such as education, highways, leisure, waste and social services, the service is accounted for separately. Typically for a local authority, housing will represent the largest class of asset and the largest driver for borrowing on their balance sheet
The requirement for local authorities to keep an HRA dates back to HA 1985. This consolidated the separate accounts which local authorities had been required to keep for housing under previous Acts of Parliament.
At the heart of the decision to ring-fence the HRA and separate it from the local authority’s General Fund was a policy aim
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