Housing associations are united by an ambition to deliver safe, secure, good quality, affordable homes for everyone. They are uniquely positioned to keep doing this, with the right support from the government, whatever the final outcome of the Brexit process.
However, against an already uncertain economic backdrop, ongoing uncertainty around Brexit makes the operating environment for housing associations more difficult. After consulting our members, we found that their major concerns were around the economic certainty and frictionless trade needed to secure finance and materials for new housing development, the loss of funding from European income streams and the shortage in both skilled and unskilled labour.
We’ve been clear about this in our conversations with the government and have made the case for as much certainty as possible over investment and support. The recent Spending Review offered some reassurance on a new Shared Prosperity Fund to replace the loss of some EU funding, and we look forward to seeing more detail on this.
As we approach the end of the Brexit transition period (31 December 2020), we know members have a number of concerns about the impact of leaving the EU. We are in regular contact with officials and ministers to feed in your concerns and have also recently attended a Brexit Business Taskforce with ministers focusing on housing and construction.
We know there may be issues with access to some construction materials, particularly if there is 'no deal' and we are already seeing skills and labour shortages in construction and care.
We are also aware that there may be issues that particularly affect our sector and our residents, for example access to essential parts for lifts and heating systems. We know you will do all you can to continue to provide an excellent service to your residents despite the challenges of Brexit, but also that some of these issues may be out of your hands, for example, if there are significant delays at the ports.
If you do experience any issues as a result of Brexit, please share them with us and we will continue to feed them in to the government. It would be helpful if you could be as specific as possible about the nature and impact of any problems as that will help officials and ministers consider how they might be able to resolve any issues where they can, particularly where they are having an impact on lives of your residents. Please contact your External Affairs Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org.