Disappointing budget with little benefit for struggling tenants – Threshold
9 October 2018
Commenting on today’s (09.10.18) Budget measures, chair of national housing charity Threshold, Aideen Hayden said: “Much more radical measures are needed to address the scale of the housing crisis. The measures announced in the Budget today are in and of themselves welcome, but we are concerned that they will make little impact on the scale of the problem.
“The measure announced on the provision of affordable housing is a step in the right direction, but will not make a substantial difference to the overall problem. This provision is well below the market demand, resulting in further pressure on rent prices at the lower end of the market.
She added: “The absence of any announcement in relation to the affordable rental scheme is particularly disappointing. This measure is essential if we are to tackle affordability for middle- and lower-income renters.
“There is an urgent need for measures to encourage institutional investors to house middle- and lower-income renters. They are currently paying a lower rate of stamp duty than others on large-scale transactions. The absence of measures to address this key issue in today’s Budget is disappointing.”
Threshold chief executive, John-Mark McCafferty comments on measures impacting on HAP.
“We are seriously concerned about the impact of the 100 per cent tax relief to all landlords. By extending this relief, the Minister may have disadvantaged tenants who rely on HAP, as the tax incentive to enter the scheme for landlords has been reduced by today’s move. Any new tax reliefs for landlords when introduced must be explicitly linked to high standards in the provision of rental accommodation.
“Threshold welcomes the Minister’s announcement to increase the funding for the HAP scheme, but reiterates that HAP and Rent Supplement limits need to reflect market rents if they are to be of benefit to renters.
“HAP is an important scheme for supporting low income households in addressing the affordability crisis in the private rented sector and a vital homelessness prevention mechanism. The current gap between HAP and Rent Supplement limits and market rents means that households within and outside the RPZs are struggling to meet current market rents - we must avoid the revolving door of people moving from HAP into homelessness.”