Stonewater reaction to the Chancellor’s Summer Budget

Yesterday’s Budget announcement was probably one of the most significant for Housing Associations in a very long time.

The nation is facing a chronic affordable housing shortage and the Chancellor’s plans to reduce social rents over the next four years is unlikely to help address the situation. Income from social rents is expected to fall by 12% versus current forecasts. This annual decrease will make it even more difficult for housing associations to deliver low cost housing where it is most urgently needed. Until now, we’ve been able to invest the small income generated from social housing rents to pay for new affordable housing development and refurbishment programmes. With this income now being annually squeezed, we have less money to invest in building more affordable homes.

We welcome the Government’s introduction of a National Living Wage and the additional support for women’s refuges but we are also concerned that cutting the benefit cap will create more homelessness among the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society who are already struggling to keep a roof over their head.

Reductions in working families’ tax credits will affect a lot of customers on low incomes and impact the affordability of rents as a result.

We will be looking in more detail at all the implications as more information becomes available. We continue to work towards our vision of ‘everyone has the opportunity to have a place to call home’ and will shape our response accordingly.

- Nicholas Harris, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Stonewater