CIPFA urges councils to make the most of new housing powers

02-02-2012

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has welcomed the publication of the final debt determination for the housing revenue account. Councils now know how much debt they will take on when the new arrangements come into effect and CIPFA is urging local authorities to ensure that they are prepared.

The Government’s consultation on self-financing arrangements for housing concluded on 6 January and the Government has now published the final housing revenue account (HRA) debt determinations. The new self-financing arrangements will come into effect on 1 April 2012 which leaves only two months for authorities to finalise viable HRA business plans to deal with the debt which they will take on.

The Government has made it very clear that it is not its intention to be prescriptive about how authorities should manage their business plans. This absence of formal guidance and regulation, whilst welcomed by many, does leave authorities exposed to all of the risks associated with such an extensive and radical change.

Recognising the potential need for additional support during this transition, CIPFA’s Housing Network has developed an information hub for HRA self-financing (http://www.cipfanetworks.net/chn/) which provides guidance including events, case studies and briefings.

Alison Scott, CIPFA Assistant Director for Local Government, commented,

“Everything is now in place for the start of self-financing at the end of March. This is a massive change for local authority housing and offers a unique opportunity for authorities to develop financial strategies to meet the future housing needs of tenants and communities”

 

ENDS

 

Contact: Tim Windle

CIPFA Press Office

t 020 7543 5787

e tim.windle@cipfa.org.uk

 

Notes to editors

  • Further details on the services CIPFA offers on housing can be viewed here: http://www.cipfa.org.uk/housing
  • As the leading institute representing professionals in the housing finance sector, CIPFA understands the detail involved in planning for the financial transaction, minimising risks and achieving a robust business plan that is sustainable in the longer term.
  • CIPFA offers further support for local authorities and finance managers trying to get to grips with the new self-financing arrangements. This includes training and accredited courses, information and advisory services such as the Housing Advisory Network and benchmarking services. Further information can be obtained at http://www.cipfa.org.uk/housing

 

About CIPFA

CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance.