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Volume 471: debated on Tuesday 29 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what changes the Government have made to the rules and regulations relating to housing and capital receipts since 1997. (171603)

I assume that for "housing and capital receipts" the hon. Member means "local authorities' housing capital receipts". The substantial changes since 1997 to the regulations relating to these are in the following table. Any reader of the table will wish to be aware that under the “set-aside” regime, which ran until 1 April 2004, with-debt local authorities were required to set aside a proportion of the capital receipt generated by the disposal of a Housing Revenue Account (HRA) asset, for repayment of housing debt. For right to buy that proportion was 75 per cent. For stock-transfer receipts the set-aside was also 75 per cent., unless the value of the housing debt exceeded 75 per cent., in which case the amount to be set aside was raised until it met the value of the debt. For other, non-dwelling sales, the proportion of set-aside was 50 per cent. The local authority was free to use the remaining 25 per cent./50 per cent. respectively for any capital purpose they chose.

From 1 April 2004, all local authorities were required to pay the Secretary of State the same amounts through the process of pooling which formerly would have been set aside. The exception is stock-transfer receipts which are not subject to pooling. Instead, the equivalent amounts of debt are assumed for the purposes of calculating housing subsidy to have been paid off by the authority.

Date change came into effect

Effect of change

1 April 1999

Reduction in the set-aside requirement for receipts arising from the sale of dwellings. The reduction being determined with reference to costs incurred by the authority in the preceding year of buying back certain properties previously sold under RTB.

23 July 1999

Exemption of certain non-monetary housing receipts from the set-aside requirement which consist of rights to nominate persons to occupy a dwelling.

5 February 2003

Facility for authorities to use all their housing receipts (except receipts arising from RTB and similar sales) for affordable housing.

1 April 2004

Replacement of the requirement for authorities with debt to set-aside a proportion of housing receipts with the requirement (for both with-debt and debt-free authorities) to pay the same amount to the Secretary of State.

16 December 2004

Exemption of receipts subject to clawback by English Partnerships from the pooling requirement.

16 December 2004

Exemption of small-scale voluntary transfers to registered social landlords from the pooling requirement.

1 April 2006

Facility for authorities to use all their receipts arising from the Social Homebuy scheme for affordable housing.