The Chancellor announced his one-year Spending Review on 25 November, setting out government funding for 2020/21.
As expected so soon after the Affordable Homes Programme (AHP) was confirmed, there was no announcement of additional funding for new social housing, though welcome measures were announced on decarbonisation and homelessness.
In our response, we’ve welcomed the funding for decarbonising social homes for 2021/22, which reflects the calls in our Spending Review submission. This is a one-year settlement to reflect the one-year Spending Review, but we would expect further funding in future years in line with the government’s manifesto commitment to a Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.
We’ve also welcomed the additional funding for homelessness services which will be a vital boost to the sector’s important work to prevent homelessness, particularly while the pandemic continues.
It’s positive to see LHA levels maintained at this year’s levels in cash terms, though decoupling them from rents will mean in some areas private renting will become less affordable over time. However, we’ve expressed disappointment that the government hasn’t committed extra upfront funding for the removal of unsafe cladding or extended the £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit.
The private-sector focused National Homebuilding Fund is a positive commitment, although this was not accompanied by new additional funding for affordable and social housing on top of the £12.2bn AHP.
The extra funding for social care will help address some short-term pressures but we will need to continue to press for long-term certainty and adequate funding for our care and support services.
On 2 December 2020, we published a full briefing which starts with an at-a-glance summary, and then covers each of these announcements in turn, including the NHF response.