Homeless Link responds to the Spring Statement

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 - 4:54pm

Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, responds to the Chancellor's Spring Statement.

On benefits

“We’re sorely disappointed that the Government has once again missed an opportunity to address the freeze on benefits, including local housing allowance rates, which contributes to an ever-increasing gap between people’s incomes and the rents where they live. Homelessness organisations across England consistently tell us that people who are ready to move on from homelessness aren't able to because housing isn't genuinely affordable. The freeze on benefits means that many are locked into homelessness and for others their benefits are just not keeping up with the cost of living – meaning people are having to choose between rent, food or fuel.”

On the Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme

“Alongside increased supply of social housing, a commitment to increase low-rent housing supply and affordability across all tenures is needed. We urge the Government to increase affordability and security in the private rented sector and also to reverse the freeze on the Local Housing Allowance and review levels so that they reflect the reality of the local rental market. 

“We would like to see the Government being more ambitious in taking urgent action to tackle the chronic undersupply of genuinely affordable housing, supporting vulnerable tenants, and providing social housing to those who need it the most, primarily people who are homeless. Increased investment and supply of social housing will help create thriving, mixed communities, as well as contributing significantly to solving the housing and homelessness crisis.”