Welfare cut probe launched
- 01 Jul
Following the 8th July Budget the English social housing regulator HCA will launch an investigation into the impact of the government’s fresh welfare spending cuts on housing associations.
After the chancellor George Osborne reveals new welfare spending cuts the Homes and Communites Agency will begin to seek to work out which types of social landlords will be affected by the cuts, reports Inside Housing.
The HCA will be using data it already possess to conduct a review and contact landlords they believe will be vulnerable in order to seek assurance that they are able to cope with the changes.
Social landlords fear hefty cuts to housing benefit as the government seeks to reduce welfare spending by £12bn. The government has already announced a reduction in the lowering of the overall household benefit cap from £26,000 to £23,000 and the removal of housing benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds.
Steve Douglas, partner at consultancy Altair, said: ‘Those organisations that don’t have the capacity to withstand such material changes will have to consider their future.’
Tony Stacey, chief executive of South Yorkshire Housing Association, said it is ‘absolutely right’ that the regulator takes stock of what the Budget means. However, he said: ‘It is going to be very difficult to sort through the different types of organisations and make an assessment.’
An HCA spokesperson said: ‘The regulator will monitor Budget announcements and their significance for the sector, as we would expect providers’ boards to do for their own businesses.’
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