Response to the Autumn Budget

The National Housing Federation has responded to the Chancellor’s Budget statement in the House of Commons.

29 October 2018

Responding to the Autumn Budget, Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, said:

Housing

“The Chancellor’s announcements on housing today are not the wholesale changes needed to fix our broken housing market.

“We desperately need tens of thousands more social homes to be built every year, which is why we are disappointed that the Government has missed a real opportunity to overhaul how land is sold.

“The current set up means last year landowners pocketed more than the global profits of Amazon, McDonald’s and Coca Cola combined, raising the cost of land and making it almost impossible for organisations who want to buy land for social housing to afford it.

“More of this profit must be used for building social housing. The housing crisis will never be solved until the price of land radically changes.”

Universal Credit

“It’s good to see the Government address some of the problems with Universal Credit. Housing associations have been saying for a long time that for many it is not working.

“Despite extra support from housing associations, many people in social housing are being pushed in to financial and emotional distress, debt and arrears under Universal Credit due to the five week gap before the first payment, delays in receiving their monthly payments, mistakes made by the system and a lack of information. People on Universal Credit are more than twice as likely to be in debt compared to all other social housing tenants.

“This promised £1bn cash injection must be used to urgently resolve as many of these problems as it can. Similarly, the promise to increase work allowances by £1,000 is welcome, but the Government must ensure people receive the money they desperately need, when they need it, before even more people are moved on to the system.”