According to the Local government Statistics 2011:
"housing is provided directly to a relatively small sub-group of local residents and council tenants and funded by the rents they pay and by central government subsidy".
"Government subsidy provides 7% of income nationally, varying from 1.0% in the East of England to 10.4% in London."
The Housing Revenue Account is meant to balance but there are some small fluctuations year on year, which is why last year there was a "negative subsidy" (net payment to government) as Chris has delighted in taunting Jono about.
However, over the past decade the payments TO central government (negative subsidy) have totalled £3.9bn while the payments FROM central government (positive subsidy) have totalled £28.0bn. That is a significant positive subsidy to local authorities.
Sorry Chris, your persistent denial that social housing is subsidised is delusional.
Add to this the capital investment in new housing which goes to subsidise Affordable Housing construction so that the rents charged by providers can be "affordable", and the bill to the taxpayer continues to grow.
Add to this the grants that are paid to RPSHes to help them cover their costs, so that rents can be kept low, and the bill to the taxpayer gets even greater.
I would call that "subsidy", Chris.