Places for People responds to King's Speech
07 November 2023
“Today cannot be seen as a positive outcome for affordable housing” - Places for People has responded to today’s King’s Speech.
Scott Black, Chief Operating Officer at Places for People, said: “Today cannot be seen as a positive outcome for affordable housing. A continued shortfall of new homes and a worsening homelessness crisis are critical issues for society, and the need to drive down energy bills whilst futureproofing our planet remain vital. The Government’s plans for the next year, unfortunately do not do enough to tackle these problems at the required scale and pace.
“The value of people’s earnings has plummeted and those on benefits are continuing to be hit the hardest. Private rents are soaring, yet housing benefits remain frozen. We are building significantly fewer affordable homes than we were in 2010, and our sector can only do so much to ensure everyone has somewhere safe and suitable to call home. Homelessness is not a choice people make, it’s a symptom of a failure to deliver and develop a long-term plan for affordable housing. I’d hoped that this - as well as greater support for homeless people and increased Local Housing Allowance rates to match rent rises - would be addressed in today’s announcement so those with no option but to sleep rough have some hope of change, but this is sadly not the case.
“Affordable housing can, and must, play a major role in the UK’s journey to net zero whilst easing the pressure people face in paying their bills. But this won’t happen without unwavering support and action from Government. While today feels like a backwards step on this issue, at Places for People we will continue to reduce our operational carbon emissions, build energy efficient new homes and work to make Customers’ existing homes warmer and cheaper to run. We need long-term action from Government so we can go further, but in the short-term support for vulnerable people to meet rising energy costs this winter is another disappointing exclusion from today’s speech.”