UK 2023 budget – has it helped the housing crisis?
Despite increases in homelessness and rapidly rising rents, there was little mention of the housing crisis in the mini-budget. This was a shock to many who are looking to the government for additional support as they face losing their homes. Currently, many people on low incomes are facing rent costs that they simply can’t afford. The Government has been called on to increase housing benefits so that it covers at least the bottom third of local rents in an area. This is one of the most effective actions the UK Government can take to reduce the number of people facing homelessness. However, this action hasn’t been taken.
Government budgets can help address housing crises by providing funding for affordable housing programs and tackling homelessness. As well as the devastating impact that homelessness has on the people experiencing it, this is a missed opportunity for the economy too. The budget set out to increase employment, and investing in housing benefits would help with that.
What can be done to help?
According to the think tank, it will take us 50 years to catch up with demand, even if we started building 300,000 homes a year. So it’s time for the Government to step in and focus on newer construction methods and keep house prices lower over the long term. This means increasing the number of first-time buyers and making more affordable rental homes available. There also needs to be a reverse on the tax treatment on Buy to Let properties that were introduced in 2017. Rents are soaring due to landlords exiting the market, and this will only get worse before it gets better. This is small revenue for HMRC however encouraging landlords to remain in the market and attracting new landlords will help ease the crisis.
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