Autumn Statement 2022
Nicholas Harris, our Chief Executive, has responded to today’s Autumn Statement.
Following a period of consultation on proposals for a cap on social housing rent increases, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt declared the Government had opted for a 7% cap for 2023/24.
Nicholas said: “The Government’s decision to cap the social housing rent increase at 7% in England acknowledges the significant role the sector plays in providing vital affordable housing and services, and shields customers from an unthinkable 11.1% rent increase and the burden of those higher payments during the cost-of-living crisis.
“Had a reduced increase been announced, it would likely have had a detrimental impact on service quality and may have weakened the sector at a time when the provision of additional affordable housing is vital.
“The decision to cap rents for one year, rather than two years, allows us to respond to a changing economic climate and protect the services and programmes we offer to customers, who are at the heart of everything we do.
“We will continue to work with the Government on the implementation of today’s announcement, particularly in terms of customer impacts, longer-term planning and our shared commitment to net zero targets and sustainability.”
The Government announced it is protecting the most vulnerable in society by increasing social benefits in line with inflation. As a result of uprating both working age and pension benefits, around 19 million families will see their benefit payments increase from April 2023.
“It is extremely welcome news that the Government has decided to honour the increase in Universal Credit and other benefits in line with inflation. At a time of great concern for those most affected by the current cost of living crisis – which includes many of our customers – it is one less thing to worry about knowing monthly rent payments will continue to be covered by benefits,” Nicholas said.
Energy Efficiency Taskforce
The Chancellor announced a new long-term commitment to drive improvements in energy efficiency to bring down bills for households, businesses and the public sector by 15% by 2030 and would introduce £6 billion extra funding.
“As one of the UK's leading social housing providers, we are committed to doing all we can to minimise our impact on the environment and promote sustainability, which includes improving the energy efficiency of our existing homes. We welcome the announcement of a new Energy Efficiency Taskforce and increased funding, as currently energy prices are skyrocketing and improving the energy efficiency of homes is paramount,” Nicholas commented.