A new report by the Chartered institute of Housing (CIH) and the Centre for Homelessness Impact highlights that money spent on housing support could be used more effectively:
The report found that building 10,000 homes a year in the social rented sector would cost central government around £40 million a year but could in turn save £44 million a year in housing subsidies if used to house tenants currently in private rented housing or temporary accommodation.
James Prestwich, Director of Policy and External Affairs, CIH said:
“This joint report reveals the full benefit to the exchequer of building social rented homes.
“Councils currently house almost 75,000 households, at risk of homelessness, in private rented accommodation. If these households could be rehoused in social rented homes councils would save £572m a year.”
Dr Lígia Teixeira, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Homelessness Impact, said:
“We should ask hard questions about whether the very large sums paid in benefits to subsidise the housing costs of people on low incomes are being used in the most effective way.
“While evidence suggests this financial assistance constitutes an important part of the UK’s homelessness ‘safety net’, our report shows that it is possible to make limited resources go further: for instance, by redirecting some of this money into social housing which can be better value and more secure for tenants.”
Before the pandemic temporary accommodation for families experiencing homelessness was costing local authorities £1.2 billion a year; almost four fifths of such accommodation is met using private rented housing.
The Department of Work and Pensions currently spends £30.6 billion a year on HB and the housing element of UC, which is around 15% of the benefits budget. This is forecast to increase to £31.3 billion by 2025-26 as more people switch to UC.
At-a-glance evidence of what works to end homelessness
Summaries of existing research into how to relieve and prevent homelessness are to be published in a series of short papers by the Centre for Homelessness Impact.
Money spent on housing support could be used more effectively, new joint report finds
A new report by the Chartered institute of Housing (CIH) and the Centre for Homelessness Impact highlights that money spent on housing support could be used more effectively.
An evidence-based approach to tackling homelessness health inequalities
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how social inequality has implications for public health: rates of infection were much higher in communities where overcrowded households were more common. We know that the most extreme form of housing inequality is homelessness and it is here that health inequalities have, for decades, been greatest.