Political update – the spending round and planning for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit

After an extraordinary week in politics, we share an update on the spending round, our political engagement, and planning for the possibility of no-deal Brexit.

5 September 2019

What was announced in the spending round?

This week, the Chancellor announced a one-year spending round. This confirmed day-to-day funding for government departments for 2020/21 but not capital spending for all departments, such as investment in new homes.

We expect a full, three-year spending round to take place in 2020, and we’ll continue to press our case for a long-term settlement for housing with investment in social homes, communities, safety and support.

This week’s spending round mainly covered education, health and policing. On housing, the Chancellor made the following announcements:

  • an extra £54m for homelessness
  • £40m additional funding for Discretionary Housing Payments to tackle affordability pressures in the private rented sector in England and Wales
  • £23m to fund a range of other measures, including support for vulnerable claimants and people with complex needs migrating to Universal Credit, additional outreach activities to support those who are homeless, and increasing the number of Armed Forces champions to support veterans when entering the labour market.

Our political engagement

In such unpredictable times, it is vital that we are talking to ministers and key stakeholders across Parliament and Whitehall about the role housing associations can play in the months to come – and the challenges our sector will face.

Last week, the Federation met with senior officials at Number 10 to discuss the Government’s priorities and ambitions for housing, and to emphasise the importance of housing delivery – both social rent and affordable home ownership.

We will be meeting the new Housing Minister, Esther McVey, in the coming weeks and are in regular contact with senior officials at the Treasury and MHCLG.

Both Esther McVey and the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, as well as Shadow Housing Minister Sarah Jones, have confirmed they will be speaking at our National Housing Summit on 25–26 September.

Planning for Brexit – we want to hear from you

We are thinking ahead to the possibility of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October, and we know many of our members will be too.

We are talking to key figures in government about housing associations’ ability to deliver homes and anchor communities in uncertain times, and the support they would need to do that.

We are also very clear about the challenges Brexit may present for housing associations, and will be issuing an updated version of our Brexit briefing soon, with a summary of some of these likely challenges and guidance on how you can be preparing.

We want to know if there is any additional practical support we can provide our members, so please get in touch if there is anything you would find helpful.