The autumn budget and homelessness

This year’s autumn budget featured announcements which we very much hope will improve the housing situation and help reduce homelessness.

The budget announced that Government would be working with many of our partners at Housing Associations across London to build 13,000 homes. We know that many Housing Associations, like us, are doing a fantastic job of supporting their residents and working to build thriving communities. We hope that ultimately more new homes will increase availability across all sections of the housing market – including the homeless people we work with who struggle to find affordable accommodation in London and can silt-up the system when they are ready to move on.

Secondly, the budget also announced a further £1 billion pound investment in the transition to Universal Credit over the next five years. From April 2019, Universal Credit claimants will benefit from a £1,000 increase in work allowances. We know that this will make it easier for people to cope financially as they return to work. We also know that many of our beneficiaries have significant debts including rent arrears and having longer to repay debts and overpayments will significantly reduce the hardship that these payments can cause.

We endorse the view of the National Housing Federation that “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.”

Jeremy Gray, Chief Executive said “We welcome the Government’s injection of cash to those on Universal Credit and work allowances, following yesterday’s budget. We know the transition to Universal Credit is causing hardship and driving people into financial crisis that can lead to homelessness. We hope that this will help the homeless people we work with to gain control of their financial situations and enable them to move on into independent living.”

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