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Budget response: Invest more in affordable housing to be delivered by PlaceShapers

In response to Chancellor George Osborne's Budget, the PlaceShapers Group, which represents more than 90 community-focused housing associations with more than 700,000 homes, has issued this statement.


Steering Group member Dr Chris Handy, said: "We welcomed last September's housing stimulus package with its focus on driving growth through housing. We are also pleased to have been involved in working through the details of the government's £10bn guarantee fund, which if moved quickly and together with the extra £300 million for affordable and empty homes, could make a real difference for social and market rented housing.


"Measures that will help prospective home owners and the possible boost to the housing market are welcome but the scale is too small. What was needed was significant stimulus to housing to meet the need shortfall and also a boost to consumer demand.


"Furthermore we'd ask for a proper review of the Housing Benefit pilots and a pause before any further cuts are made to the welfare budget. We'd welcome the government working with our members to fully understand the impact of the cuts at a local level."


Fellow Steering Group member, Karen Wilson, added: "We had hoped to have further clarity on the implementation and allowances of the new Universal Credit system beyond 2014. PlaceShapers want to see tenants still have the choice of the Housing Benefit element being paid direct to landlords. This move would strengthen our business plans and enable us to build even more homes while at the same time continuing to do what we do best, delivering on the localism agenda.


"The Budget signposted that a social rental policy to give landlords certainty until 2025 would be part of the 2015-16 Spending Round. Certainty is vital so we have the stability to invest in providing much-needed new affordable homes in our communities for rent and other mixed tenures such as market rent, shared ownership and homebuy."


Ends


Follow PlaceShapers on Twitter @placeshapers


Notes to editor
Dr Chris Handy is chief executive of Accord Housing Group
Karen Wilson is chief executive of Origin Housing
Association

For all media enquiries contact Kelly Field, at Creative Bridge, 07771 928369

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