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The Spring Budget - a missed opportunity

The Spring Budget - a missed opportunity

The Spring Budget - a missed opportunity

Monday, March 20, 2023

At St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity we have joined ten other charities calling on Chancellor to urgently unfreeze housing benefit, or force thousands of people out of their homes.

Wednesday's Budget failed to acknowledge the housing emergency. That's why we have signed this letter calling for the Prime Minister & Chancellor to end the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) freeze, which we know is a major factor driving the increase in homelessness.

In our Frontline Worker Survey, 42% of frontline workers stated that their ability to help someone access appropriate accommodation had decreased in the last 12 months. In particular, 90% of frontline staff reported that obtaining private rented accommodation for people they supported was ‘very difficult’ or ‘difficult’.

The majority (63%) of frontline workers thought that keeping the LHA rate frozen at 2020/21 levels would increase homelessness over the next year. 

“Private landlords are raising their rents, meanwhile the LHA remains the same. It's clear this will leave many struggling to meet the costs of their rent and they will build arrears.” 

“The LHA rate in London needs to be scrapped or at least reviewed so that it reflects the housing market, allowing homeless individuals more options to find appropriate and affordable housing.”

“As far as the LHA rates are concerned, they provide a massive blocker for households looking for their own private rental accommodation and for local authorities trying to help homeless applicants, particularly in view of the chronic shortage of social housing…” 

Read more about the letter here and take a look at the findings of our latest research with frontline homelessness workers across the UK. 

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