Places for People responds to Autumn Statement
22 November 2023
“Today is a missed opportunity”, Places for People Group CEO, Greg Reed has responded to today’s Autumn Statement.
Greg Reed, Group CEO of Places for People, said: “The number of homeless households living in temporary accommodation currently stands at over 104,000 – the highest level since records began in 1998 – yet affordable housing barely featured in today’s Autumn Statement.
“The increase in Local Housing Allowance, as well as other benefits, is positive, but it took far too long to get here. LHA rates have been frozen for three years, whilst private rents have skyrocketed. A lack of action on this until now has piled pressure on private renters, significantly contributing to increasing levels of homelessness which in many cases ends up costing the state more when people end up in temporary accommodation. Local authorities and housing associations simply do not have the resources to plug the gap. So, while we welcome this announcement, it doesn’t go far enough in addressing the housing issues our country faces.
“Cost of living pressures remain huge and specific support for those on lower incomes with their energy bills this winter should have been top of the Chancellor's list today but it’s nowhere to be seen. As landlords, the affordable housing sector sees firsthand how people are unable to afford to heat their home, and in many cases put food on the table. We will continue to offer support to our most vulnerable Customers so they do not go cold or hungry, but Government must do more.
“I’d really hoped Government would be releasing the full remaining Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund beyond 2025 today. This funding is crucial for us to kick on and retrofit more homes, and bring down bills as a result. Given the scale and urgency of this task nationally, we need more certainty around when the funding will be available so we can plan, alongside other affordable housing providers and the supply chain, to deliver the best outcome for people and the environment. Today is a missed opportunity.”