G15 calls for government spending review to protect, prepare, and promote

Ahead of the government's Spending Review that will set out departmental budgets for the next three years, the G15 has called for the Chancellor to deliver an ambitious programme of investment and action.

After 18 months of much-needed and much-welcomed emergency budget interventions by the government in response to the coronavirus pandemic, this multi-year spending review is a chance to set out a clear route forwards on how we will build back better as a country to deliver a fair recovery.

As part of Spending Review 2021, we are calling for the government to:

  • Protect leaseholders from building safety costs.
  • Prepare for the challenge of achieving net-zero carbon by turbo-charging decarbonisation in social housing.
  • Promote a strong and fair recovery from the pandemic for our residents and communities.

Making these important commitments will ensure the government is providing a strong foundation from which to support levelling-up the country.

The G15's submission, the full version of which can be viewed here, summarises the key areas where we feel the government should focus new investment and commitments on in the spending review.

To help protect, prepare, and promote, we are urging the government to:

  • Protect

- Protect leaseholders from building safety costs by fully-funding remediation works that cannot be recovered via insurance and warranty.

- Allow social housing providers to access the Building Safety Fund for all homes regardless of tenure.

- Remove VAT from remediation works to maximise the value of resources being invested.

  • Prepare

- Increase funds available through Wave 2 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) and speed-up allocations of the SHDF over a 5-year period, rather than the current 10-years.

- Recognise the generational challenge of meeting net-zero carbon by providing funding certainty for housing associations over the next 10 years beyond the SHDF.

- Support housing providers to prepare for meeting net-zero carbon by urgently confirming what targets, definitions, and exemptions will be set.

  • Promote

- Strengthen the social security safety net by maintaining the Universal Credit uplift and extending it to all legacy benefits, alongside ensuring Local Housing Allowance rates rise to meet growing costs.

- Commit to a multi-year comprehensive education catch-up programme to ensure no child or young person is left behind and allow social housing providers to bid directly into the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to support residents into employment.

- Enable more people to live-well independently by delivering a long-term plan for the future of the social care system recognising the vital role of housing.

By implementing these practical and impactful measures, alongside maintaining stability for housing associations’ key rental income and delivering further investment in new affordable homes, the government can help G15 members to play our full role in tackling the housing crisis and supporting more people to live well.

G15 Spending Review 2021 Submission