Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Voluntary Code for a Self-financed Housing Revenue Account


This voluntary code for self-financed housing revenue accounts (HRAs) has been produced to help local housing authorities who manage HRAs make the most of this opportunity and do so in a prudent, viable and measured way.







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The introduction of housing revenue account (HRA) self-financing was a monumental shift in outlook from the previous system. It replaced an annual short term focus with the ability to do longer term planning and gave the freedom to develop and deliver a more positive, less constrained, vision for council housing.

This publication has been produced to help authorities who manage housing revenue accounts make the most of this opportunity. Co-written by CIPFA and the CIH it will support local authorities in their aim to ensure effective and sensible management of the housing business and to be consistent with existing frameworks.

How can the voluntary code help?

The code will:

  • assist housing authorities in ensuring effective governance, finance and business planning
  • provide transparency to tenants, members and officers on how housing business is being managed. The code will give tenants and members a framework against which to hold the authority to account
  • support housing authorities to identify where they may need further support and assistance.

The code covers six principles, each of which has a set of accompanying provisions. Together these describe what the sector consider as essential elements for the continued sustainability of a self-financed HRA.

This code is designed to be self-regulatory and compliance is not formally required. As such there are no formal entry level requirements and no formal sanctions for non-compliance. It will be for a housing authority to determine how they wish to assess their compliance with the code on an on-going basis and this reflects our belief that the code is a tool to assist the authority to account for the management of the HRA to its residents.

CIPFA recommends that this code is used in conjunction with the HRA Self-financing Performance Toolkit – a unique MS Excel-based assessment tool which generates an in-depth assessment of performance against a series of high level benchmarks.