However, Ministers are likely to set a target of building 150,000 affordable homes, changing the way councils charge rent to finance them, despite the cuts. Tenants will be charged nearer the going market rate, to release cash for the building programme.
Federation chief executive David Orr said in response:
"The government said it was committed to social housing and to protecting the most vulnerable.
"This can only be interpreted as a blatant betrayal of those promises and a kick in the teeth to millions of people stuck on waiting lists."
Jonathan Moore, director of easyroommate.co.uk, said of the potential cuts:
“This is the perfect example of the private sector taking over from the state. The private rented sector has shouldered an increasing share of the burden of the UK’s growing housing need. And if the housing budget is slashed in half, the sector will need to grow even further to cover the inevitable shortfall in affordable accommodation. Thousands of frustrated first-time buyers are already being kept out in the cold by tight lending criteria and unaffordably high house prices. Cutting the budget for social housing will close off another avenue for those who are unable to get onto the housing ladder and want a home of their own.
Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive said:
‘The rumours of what we can expect in the spending review suggest the coalition government is severing the link between the state and one of our most basic requirements. The above average cuts to housing mean it has firmly turned its back on those most impacted by our affordable housing crisis.
‘These policies, and more importantly lack of policies to address our housing crisis, will see the door firmly closed on the aspirations of a whole generation for decent, secure, affordable housing to rent or buy. The gap between the housing haves and have nots will dramatically widen.’
‘These proposals reduce access and security to housing for some of the poorest and most vulnerable but there aren’t any policies to address exorbitant house prices or improve our ever growing private rented sector.
‘A succession of governments has failed to address an issue that is vitally important to every person in this country but this government’s package of reforms are not thought through as to how they will impact ordinary working families.
‘Protecting NHS spending and education while introducing policies that will see more children living in damp and overcrowded conditions simply does not add up.’
‘If the government does not set out its long term vision to solve our whole housing crisis urgently it must accept responsibility for the impact on child poverty, a lack of access to decent, affordable housing and already increasing levels of homelessness.’
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