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Shelter angry at Hunt’s ‘nothing about housing’ Budget

Campaigning charity Shelter is angry with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt over his Budget 

While most in the property industry have expressed relief that there have been no new punitive measures on the private rental sector, Shelter chief executive Polly Neate is less happy. 

She says: “The Chancellor could have put an end to spiralling homelessness, but instead he’s stuck his head in the sand.”


Neate believes there’s a link between rising rents and the growing numbers of homeless.

This is especially the case amongst less affluent tenants: Shelter claims one in three private renters in England rely on housing benefit to help pay their rent.

Now she says: “Homelessness has almost doubled in the last 10 years and yet again we have a Budget that does nothing to help struggling renters who are drowning in debt and rapidly rising rents. 

“It is outrageous that the government has chosen to keep housing benefit frozen at 2020 levels when its own figures show rents have risen by more than eight per cent in this time.  

“A massive growth in homelessness is surely not the type of growth the government wants, so why is it ignoring this crisis? 

“Sleeping rough or being shunted from hostel-to-hostel ruins people’s lives and costs the economy more. This is the government’s final warning to introduce emergency measures to keep people in their homes – it must urgently unfreeze housing benefit.” 

Meanwhile the agents’ body Propertymark has also spoken out about the Budget, albeit from a different perspective.

Chief executive Nathan Emerson says: “There was no mention of tax incentives to boost much needed supply in the private rented sector. 

“Whilst we recognise the UK Government’s focus on getting more people into work, there is little appetite to improve the welfare system and support those who are struggling the most which will have a continued knock-on impact particularly for those low-income households who rent.”

He continues: “The Chancellor has outlined a positive economic outlook in relation to growth, inflation and debt that will provide confidence to those looking to buy and sell their homes. 

“Additional funding for Levelling Up regeneration projects will also help to develop communities and places where people want to live. 

“However, despite the continued focus on VAT relief for energy saving materials it is disappointing that funding for energy efficiency improvements be-it for homeowners or landlords is not on the UK Government's agenda and the Budget is a missed opportunity to support people to de-carbonise the housing sector.”

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    "Neate believes there’s a link between rising rents and the growing numbers of homeless".

    Indeed there is Polly but you have certainly played your part in causing the problems. Shelter is a leading cause of homelessness.

  • jeremy clarke

    Ah, diddums, polly is upset :(
    But, she has at last seen that all her efforts to cause rents to rise are causing homelessness!

  • icon

    Polly Bleat is upset and angry? So there was some good news from the Budget after all.

  • icon

    Great insight 👍

    Still no reference to what the plan is to resolve the one million plus people on the Hiusing waiting list for Social Housing provisions post the introduction of right to buy circa 30 years ago ?

    Local Councils say the Social Housing requirements are being met by their Strategic Pattnerships with RP’s.

    The reality is that only circa 8% of all homes built by RP’s are for Social Tenure. So the million plus people continue to be housed in Hostels, B&B’s and low standard hotels but at what cost ? Why is this cost not published by each respective Council to enable an assessment of debt serviceability for the cost of new Social Hiusing be that the Council themselves or Privately Funded on long term leases at yields which would attract investment Funds to engage ? My gut tells me the New Homes route would be far more cost effective in the longer run along with substantial improvements on the people’s welfare that such an initative would look to serve ?

    However, It’s like this segment (Social Housing) of the population are the ‘Forgotten’ people and no Local Council or Central government initiatives seem to exist to address this ‘hot potato’ which will just keep on growing 🥲

    Rant over 😇🙏

  • Kristjan Byfield

    The irony of Shelter being angry is, I doubt, lost on many. All too often their ire is directed at Landlords & Letting Agents when the problems they want to solve are the responsibility of the government. However, many won't attack the government for fear they won't get a seat at the table to formulate the changes going forwards. If they think it's bad now, wait until S21 is removed and Landlords face at least a 1-year wait (possibly longer) just to get in front of a judge. All of the marginal applications, where a landlord or letting agent has concerns over a tenant's ability to afford a property, the security of their job, etc- all of these, without the security blanket of a S21 in their back pocket, will be turned away as the risk will simply be too great. The advocates of many proposals contained within the RRB (Renters Reform Bill) have been warned of the possible implications if careful consideration, structuring and implementation aren't applied. There won't be any excuses for 'unintended consequences'.


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