Housing sector

Inside Housing – Insight – Spending Review 2021: What is the housing sector asking for?

Financing and development of affordable housing

The government must invest £12.8billion a year over the next 10 years in social rented housing to ‘break the back’ of the housing crisis, according to Shelter.

The charity also wants the government to announce the next 10 years of its Affordable Housing Program (AHP) now, rather than waiting until 2025/6 to announce the next round of funding.

“This will provide long-term certainty for local authorities and housing associations, allowing them to deliver much more housing at a faster rate,” the charity said. “The the government must also significantly increase the proportion of AHP that is spent on genuinely affordable social rental housing.

The Local Government Association wants action to help councils secure affordable housing for “all who need it”. This should include a “housing stimulus plan to deliver 100,000 homes each year and reform of the housing income account system, he said in his memoir.

The NHC called on the government to do more to promote brownfield development. ‘The Chancellor is expected to commit an additional £500million over the spending review period to establish new homes on brownfield sites,’ he said. He recommends that the money be allocated directly to the combined authorities, where they exist.

Homelessness, well-being and recovery from COVID-19

Although the spending review comes after the end date of the £20 Universal Credit increase, that has not stopped groups from calling for the payment to continue.

The G15 said the hike should be maintained and extended to “all legacy benefits”, while ensuring Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates rise to meet rising costs.

Shelter called on the government to end the planned cancellation of the uprising. On LHA rates, he said the government must unfreeze and keep them at least at the 30th percentile and carry out an “urgent review”, to ensure they are sufficient to keep low-income families in their homes.

He called for the removal of the benefit cap. “The benefit cap has prevented tens of thousands of families from accessing both the £20 increase in Universal Credit and the restored LHA rate,” he said.

The charity said the government must make a dedicated £360million COVID arrears fund available to prevent homelessness. “This funding must be introduced immediately to ensure those at imminent risk of eviction and homelessness can access it immediately,” he said in his brief.

The G15 also asked ministers to allow social housing providers to bid directly to the UK’s Shared Prosperity Fund to help residents find jobs.

The NHF wants the government to restore the £1.6billion earmarked funding for housing-related support services, and use the opportunity of social care and NHS reform to ‘prioritize services preventive” and “allowing housing providers to continue to respond to the coronavirus”.

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With leveling up apparently still high on the government’s political agenda, sector groups have attempted to tackle the problem.

The NHF is calling for Homes England’s remit to be expanded to include regeneration. As most current government funding focuses on additionality, the NHF said there was a ‘role for Homes England to provide high quality housing-focused regeneration where it cannot otherwise be funded’ . He added: ‘Greater flexibility on existing funding, including allowing homes to be replaced, is crucial to support the leveling program and to help deliver quality affordable homes across the country.’

The G15 reminded the government that the race to the top must also apply to the capital. “London has been the hardest hit of any region in the country by the pandemic, with higher job losses coupled with existing income inequality in London that is twice that of the rest of the UK,” indicates its submission. “The capital also faces higher rates of poverty and child poverty, alongside the highest proportion of Universal Credit recipients. To achieve a fair recovery, leveling will be as necessary in London as it is across the country. »

The NHC said local councils needed a return to greater spending capacity to tackle levelling. “The spending review should spell out a clear commitment to increased real-term funding for local government,” its brief says.

He also said Homes England’s strategic objectives should be changed to do more to contribute to leveling and net zero.

“The opportunity… exists to refocus the agency’s significant resources on the priorities of the current government, ensuring that expert advice and support is available in areas that need improvement,” said he declared.