17 Oct 2022
In a joint letter sent to DLUHC and DWP, on Thursday 13 October, PlaceShapers and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) call on government to introduce five measures in the Chancellor’s 31 October fiscal plan that would help protect people over the winter while building the country’s long-term resilience to energy price spikes, broader cost of living pressures and the housing crisis.
The housing sector bodies joint proposals would:
The five measures are:
In submitting the letter Matthew Walker, chair of PlaceShapers, said:
“We support the Government’s growth ambition, but this cannot be at the expense of the people who are struggling the most. Our members exist to provide homes to people who would struggle to rent at market rates, often on the lowest incomes. The country needs more of these homes and to invest in the quality of them.
“People on the lowest incomes are already disconnecting their gas or electricity and unable to afford to cook hot meals for themselves and their children. The benefits system provides an invaluable safety net for families across the country, including the 41% of recipients of Universal Credit who are in work. High inflation is shrinking financial support to an unsustainable point. The consequences, such as increased homelessness and physical and mental ill-health, are placing additional strain on already stretched public services. It’s a false economy not to increase this support in line with inflation.”
Gavin Smart, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), commented:
“CIH is clear that affordability for social housing tenants and residents is of utmost importance. We know that social landlords share these concerns and have been working hard to protect affordability and support those most in need.
“However, urgent government intervention is needed to protect those on the lowest incomes by uprating benefits and increasing energy efficiencies. We urge the government to act now to increase investment in building more affordable, energy efficient homes and improve the quality and insulation of existing homes, all of which will add to the government’s growth agenda.”
The letter was sent, on Thursday 13 October, to Rt Hon Simon Clarke MP, Secretary of State, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Chloe Smith MP, Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions.