Briefing: Budget response 2020

By: Robin White  Published: March 2020


Summary

Shelter is the UK’s largest housing and homelessness charity. Last year we gave information, support and advice to millions of people experiencing bad housing and homelessness.

For generations, social housing played a vital role in meeting the housing needs of ordinary people, giving millions the quality and dignity of life that insecure and unaffordable private renting could not. A steep decline in social housebuilding has contributed to an increase in homelessness and a huge increase in private renting as more and more cannot afford to buy a home. Councils are spending over a billion pounds a year on temporary accommodation to house homeless households.

This year’s budget took some important first steps on the road to tackling this emergency. With more money announced to support rough sleepers, a commitment to the Affordable Homes Programme and lowering of borrowing rates for councils to build social homes.

However, we are far from job done and there is still much to do. This includes:

  1. Using the Spending Review to build on this foundation and provide clarity over how much of the next Affordable Homes Programme will be earmarked for the provision of truly affordable social rent housing.
  2. Committing to ensuring Local Housing Allowance (LHA) payments actually cover the costs of private rents by re-aligning LHA rates with at least the 30th percentile of local rents from financial year 2020-21.

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