No help for renters in Summer Statement 'tragic' | News

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The Housing Finance Network

No help for renters in Summer Statement 'tragic'

No announcements on how the Chancellor is to help those in renting privately is "tragic", say Generation Rent.

Commenting after his Summer Statement today, Alicia Kennedy, the campaigning group's Director, said: "While support for jobs is welcome, people are struggling to put food on the table now and face the threat of losing their home when the eviction ban is lifted next month. They can’t eat out to help out: renters need a pay out to eat in."

Rishi Sunak used the Statement to cut Stamp Duty tax and to unveil a set of measures to help energy efficiency for both the social housing sector and home owners.

But it was not welcomed by all.

Kennedy added: "The stamp duty holiday doesn’t help renters whose incomes and savings have been destroyed by the pandemic and face a further setback to their hopes of buying a home.

"Right now the government is leaving renters to bear the cost of the pandemic - we need Rishi Sunak to increase local housing allowance, remove the restrictions stopping people from accessing it, and end the rent debt crisis before it causes mass homelessness."

Sunak faced calls to invest in affordable housing from the Mayor of London, housing associations and councils in the build up to the speech, but he denied that approach.

Despite the lack of direct announcements from the Chancellor for renters, Generation Rent did welcome the investment in housing stock more generally.

Kennedy said: "We welcome the £2bn Green Homes Grant, which could make a huge difference to the quarter of private rentals that are non-decent.

"Renters are more likely than home owners to live in an inefficient home, but if they are going to benefit, the government must make it easy for renters to request improvements.

"Because enforcement of standards is so patchy, landlords don’t have much incentive to insulate their homes, so renters need the right support to make the most of this scheme and pay less for their heating."