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Shelter responds to the Chancellor’s Spring Budget 2024

Posted 06 Mar 2024

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: “Homelessness is a political choice. In the final Budget before a General Election, with the housing emergency spiralling out of control, the Chancellor has chosen inaction. By ignoring the vast number of people losing their homes, he is harming both the economy and people whose lives are being wrecked by homelessness. 

“The Chancellor is right that investment is the best way to improve productivity. Had he invested in building 90,000 social homes a year he could end homelessness, save the taxpayer money, boost jobs, reduce the burden of poor housing on our NHS and improve children’s life chances. 

“If this government or the next is serious about wanting the economy to grow and people to thrive, investing in genuinely affordable housing is a no brainer. Building 90,000 social homes would pay for themselves and return an impressive £37.8bn back to the economy in just three years.” 


The economic benefits of building social homes: Shelter and the National Housing Federation’s new research report carried out by CEBR is the first to show the massive economic and social benefits of building 90,000 new social rented homes with both immediate and long-term value for money for the government and the economy.   

  • Within just three years, the wider economic benefits generated mean that 90,000 social rent homes will have paid for themselves and returned an impressive £37.8bn back to the economy, largely by boosting the construction industry. It would directly support nearly 140,000 jobs in the first year alone. 

  • Alongside this, the new social homes would generate huge savings for the taxpayer across multiple departments. These breakdown as follows:  

    • £4.5bn savings on housing benefit  

    • £2.5bn income from construction taxes  

    • £3.8bn income from employment taxes   

    • £5.2bn savings to the NHS  

    • £4.5bn savings from reduction in homelessness  

    • £3.3bn savings to Universal Credit  

  • The total economic and social benefits of building 90,000 social rent homes would generate £51.2bn net over 30 years (£86.5bn gross), including £12bn profit to the taxpayer. 

 The latest figures on rising homelessness in England:  

  • New statutory homelessness figures on the number of homeless households living in temporary accommodation hit another record high in England with 109,000 households in temporary accommodation as of September 2023 – this is up 10% in a year.   

  • There are 142,490 children who are homeless and living in temporary accommodation with their families as of September 2023 – this is another record high and is up by 16,960 (14%) in a year. 

  • The number of people sleeping rough in England has more than doubled since 2010 when the data started being collected – rising by 120% in. The latest count shows 3,898 people were recorded sleeping rough on a given night in 2023, a 27% increase in one year. 

  • Data is published by the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities and available here: Homelessness statistics - GOV.UK (