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Under the HRA, the £7bn income from council rents is paid to central government and around £5bn redistributed among local authorities. The rest is used to meet the cost of the £21bn of council housing debt.
But from next April, under plans in the Localism Bill, local authorities will be able to keep their own rental income. In return they will take on a share of the £21bn housing debt as part of a 30-year business plan.
Outlining the reforms last October, Housing minister Grant Shapps said that no council would take on a level of debt that was not sustainable for the long term. Read More: