Our Daily Roundup of Inside Housing's Digital Housing Week – Day 2

  24 JUNE, 2020
day 2 of digital housing week

The landscape of the economy post-pandemic and the issue of homelessness discussed on day 2 of Inside Housing's Digital Housing Week (22nd - 26th June 2020).

The economy after the pandemic – what will the lasting effects be on our social and political landscape?

Session attended by BD and Market Insight Manager Paul Williams

  • As Brexit is now expected to be a hard Brexit, it will require an additional £200-£300bn of investment from the government to prevent an economic slump. Corporate growth is expected to be slower than before the pandemic with recovery taking 5-10 years. The Government may consider cuts in VAT and stamp duty.
  • Housing Associations can support, anchor and connect communities through investment of “patient capital” to build better neighbourhoods and investing in blighted areas, but must also engage with their LEPs.
  • Whilst Local Authorities mobilised quickly to support their communities through Covid-19, an agile and dynamic approach will follow where the renewal, recovery and rebuilding of services will be required, to reflect the future needs of communities.
  • Fundamentally, the Government need to give up some power to enable local communities to influence their future.

Key messages from Head of Partnerships, Peter Hordley

  • Change brings opportunities to do things differently, to innovate and fix the old problems, and move forward with optimism and renewed vigour with new solutions to new issues – Prof Trevor Williams (an economist)
  • Social Housing sector is well placed to weather the growing economic storm because it has planned for crises as part of the RSH stress testing requirement – Will Perry, RSH.
  • It is the place of the social housing sector to invest where others won’t, build better communities and support vulnerable people in ways that others can’t – Sinead Butters, Aspire Housing.

Homelessness: Is everyone still in?

Session attended by Housing Partnership Manager Sue Minkely

  • We are awaiting a government announcement on extra funding for local councils to continue some of the elements of “everyone in”
  • The need to learn from regions where local authorities have had an innovative and a proactive approach to homelessness.
  • More accurate data is required about homelessness numbers to be able to support the cause and provide long term solutions.
  • Affordable housing is the heart of the solution - Everyone deserves the right to decent quality housing and the benefit cap has made affordability worse in certain regions and needs resolving.
  • Nobody returns to the streets – a substantial amount of people are currently accommodated in hotels or similar emergency housing, are at risk of returning to the streets unless there are measures to provide transition to suitable accommodation.

Sign up to Digital Housing Week

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affordable homes - house keyring


On Monday 6th July, the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that the Government will be extending the current Affordable Homes Programme until March 2023. Delays in the Construction Industry Construction on new homes to be built under the Government’s £9 billion scheme originally needed to be underway by March 2022. However, today’s announcement means that housing associations and councils have a year longer to begin building these homes. The extension applies to homes which are in contract to be delivered by the current scheme. The Government has made the move in light of unavoidable delays in the construction industry due to coronavirus, where the building of 53,000 new affordable homes has stalled, putting their eventual completion at risk. Providing Flexibility to Councils Mr. Jenrick said that this measure will give housing associations and councils more flexibility “to help them deliver affordable homes.” He added that “building the homes the country needs is central to the mission of this Government.” This latest announcement follows last week’s package of measures, including confirmation that the new £12 billion Affordable Homes Programme will support up to 180,000 new homes, including for shared ownership and social rent. The programme will lead to a further £38 billion in public and private investment in affordable housing. Full details can be seen on the Government website.


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