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The Spring Budget Has Done Little to Help the Need for Social Housing

The Spring Budget was announced this week, and always, the announcements were surrounded by controversy.

The budget seemingly failed to address the broken property market; of which the Housing shortage and stamp duty controversy are huge issues.

According to the property specialists over at the Open Property Group, the percentage of people currently living in Social Housing in Britain is on the decline, whilst the number of people on waiting lists continues to grow.

The shortage of Social housing means that more and more people are being forced to rent privately, placing a huge strain on the finances of many families, as well as stress and anxiety.

In total, there are close to two million households waiting for a social home, an increase of 81% in just twenty years and two thirds of those on the waiting list have been on the list for more than a year.

At the end of 2012, over 40,000 households with dependent children were living in temporary accommodation and that number is only rising.

The issues surrounding social housing tend to come from the same problem in the sense that the need for social housing is continuing to grow but not enough social homes have been built over the past few decades and with lack of supply comes an inflated price level relative to demand.

The Spring Budget announced £350million in funding for Scottish Government, £200million for Welsh Government and £120million for Northern Ireland Executive for housing, infrastructure, transport, regions and science but is it enough?

It’s no secret that the government aren’t building enough affordable housing and the Housing White Paper, released on the 7th February proposed to diversify the property market by supporting more small and medium-sized builders and encouraging high housing densities in urban locations up and down the country.

Though the Budget may allow for a scope for additional funding to implement the plans of the Housing White Paper’s vision.

This, however, may mean that elderly people are encouraged to leave their family homes to smaller dwellings to help the government tackle the UK’s housing shortage and thus ease the social problem.

In 2015, a report by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors found that helping older homeowners to downsize could release a staggering £820 billion in property assets, the equivalent of 2.6million family homes.

It’s a move that would certainly ease the crisis as it is estimated that over 220,000 new homes per year are needed in the next decade to keep up with the booming population and to prevent the housing crisis from worsening.

With the budget came a number of welfare reforms, these did not come as too much of a surprise as many were announced in the Summer Budget 2015.

Such changes include withdrawing the entitlement to Housing Benefit for many 18-21 year olds, a move that many charities have branded “shameful” and “heartless” as they claim it puts at least 9,000 young people at risk of homelessness.

That said, Robert Walker of PwC is hopeful that the government can “find a way to kick-start the market in the Autumn Budget”, specifically looking “for action on reducing stamp duty, investing in sustainable and social housing and building more houses.”

The Spring Budget seems to have to done little to ease fears surrounding the social housing crisis, and what fears it has eased brings worry to elderly people who fear they may be forced to downsize, so all eyes are now on the Housing White Paper and the Autumn Budget.

The post The Spring Budget Has Done Little to Help the Need for Social Housing appeared first on BIM Journal.

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The Spring Budget Has Done Little to Help the Need for Social Housing


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