Responding to today’s Spending Review statement from Chancellor Sajid Javid
John Bruton, Executive Director – Finance, said: “In politically uncertain times, Stonewater welcomes the increased funding for the police, social care, education and NHS outlined in today’s Spending Review. While marking a significant increase in public spending and being billed as ‘an end to austerity’ by Chancellor Sajid Javid, there was little reference to housing beyond £54m of new funding targeted at reducing homelessness and rough sleeping.
“This is despite the National Housing Federation’s (NHF) submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review suggesting that, to deliver the 145,000 affordable homes the country needs each year, there needs to be an annual investment of approximately £12.8bn. Even with the current level of investment by the government, which has recently seen an additional £1bn made available for its Homes England strategic partners, the levels still fall short of what’s needed to truly address the national housing crisis.
“Good-quality, affordable homes are the foundation for strong communities. It is well recognised that housing is directly linked to the positive outcomes for health, education, justice, welfare and other public services. At Stonewater, we are therefore pleased to hear that local councils will receive £1.5 billion for social care next year, making the overall departmental spending on local authorities the largest increase in local government spending power since 2010.
“In addition to this, for many of our customers, Universal Credit has been an overwhelming concern. We hope the Chancellor’s decision to allocate £23 million to fund a range of other measures, including support for vulnerable claimants and people with complex needs, as well as additional outreach activities, will help mitigate some of the issues.
“Ahead of the Spending Review and Brexit, Stonewater has been working hard to prepare for a range of scenarios. As a leading social housing provider, Stonewater, has an important role to play in tackling the housing crisis and while we have established good momentum in creating as many much-needed homes as possible, it is imperative that this is maintained.”