Spring Budget 2024

06 March 2024

How did the NHF respond to the Spring Budget?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, laid out the Spring Budget on 6 March 2024. 

In response, Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, said: 

We’re disappointed that this year’s budget was not used as an opportunity to address the housing emergency and chronic shortage of affordable homes across the country. 

The measures announced by the Chancellor to support families on the lowest incomes, including the extension of the Household Support Fund are welcome and will provide some relief for those who are struggling with the rising cost of living. However, with child homelessness at record levels and 1 in 6 children growing up in overcrowded homes with little space or privacy, urgent and meaningful action on housing is needed. 

This housing crisis can be solved but it requires a change of approach. The government must put an end to short-term thinking and piecemeal policy decisions and commit to a national long-term plan for housing which aims to deliver the secure, affordable, high-quality homes local people need. 

What did we ask the Chancellor to include in the Spring Budget 2024?

In summary, our submission recommended that the government should:

  • Protect vital homeless services by boosting and ring-fencing funding for housing-related support to ensure spending at least matches the £1.6bn per year allocated to local authorities in England in 2010.
  • Relieve homelessness by investing in homelessness prevention advice, support services and financial support to the hardest hit families. This includes:
    • Review the household benefit cap, the two-child limit and the removal of the spare room subsidy.
    • Review the five-week wait for Universal Credit and deductions system.
    • Reinstate uplifted funding for Discretionary Housing Payments so tenants with a rent shortfall can be supported to avoid rent arrears.
    • Make increased support available to all low-income households through the benefits system.
  • Reinstate the £300m Housing Transformation Fund, to support the integration of housing into health and social care systems and the development of more specialist housing.
  • Make sure everyone can feel safe in their home by: implementing the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign call for equal access to government building safety funding for housing associations - ensuring contractors, as well as developers, remediate defective buildings that they built for housing associations, applying a zero-rate on remedial works for VAT purposes.
  • Deliver more social homes by allocating funding for regeneration programmes over a longer period and ensure Local Planning Authorities have the necessary resources to enable timely granting of planning permission.
  • Deliver a long-term, inflation-linked rent settlement, with a reintroduction of a convergence mechanism.
  • Make a long-term commitment to decarbonising our housing stock by committing to release the remaining Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund in full.
  • Extend the temporary zero-rate VAT relief applied to the installation of energy saving materials to 2030 and include double and triple glazed windows and insulated entrance doors in its scope.
  • Commit to new burdens funding for new requirements introduced through the review of the Decent Homes Standard. This will enable housing associations to continue to provide the high quality, affordable homes the country needs.
  • Support low-income residents with their energy bills by reopening the Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative Funding to ensure all households who missed out receive their payment and introducing an energy social tariff to protect low-income residents in the longer-term.

To read our full submission, download the PDF.

Who to speak to

Sarah Finnegan, Head of Policy