Local Housing Allowance (LHA) will at last be unfrozen and Universal Credit (UC) will rise under UK Government tax and spending plans announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, MP, today, 22 November 2023. Rate relief and full expensing for businesses are also included.
The Department for Work and Pensions will recommence the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Universal Credit Engagement Group following Propertymark's continued lobbying.
Propertymark has co-signed a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer ahead of the Autumn Budget strongly urging action on static rates of local housing allowance (LHA) and the lack of affordable private rented homes.
With a General Election on the horizon, the UK Government has an opportunity to support landlords, tenants, and property agents with the impact of the cost of living through welfare reform, bring down energy bills by improving the energy efficiency of homes and reducing the tax burden on landlords and investors to tackle the demand the crisis in the private rented sector.
Figures released by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) back up evidence given to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Commons Committee by Propertymark on 28 June 2023. Head of Policy and Campaigns Timothy Douglas warned MPs of vulnerable tenants being priced out of the market.
Timothy Douglas, Propertymark's Head of Policy and Campaigns was invited to give evidence to the Department for Work and Pensions Commons Committee hearing on the current benefit levels in the UK on 28 June 2023. He outlined the impact they are having on the private rented sector.
£150 million of UK-wide funding has been announced for local authorities to support Ukrainian families in sustainable accommodation in the private rented sector, help them get jobs and continue sponsorship.
The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee has launched an inquiry to help inform current and future UK Government thinking on the adequacy of benefits and is also looking at the relationship between social security and the labour market.
Concentrating on three core themes to drive the housing sector forward, Propertymark has called on the UK Government to improve welfare to support vulnerable and low waged tenants, provide energy efficiency grants to support landlords and homeowners to achieve Net Zero and repeal Section 24 to reintroduce Mortgage Interest Relief and other tax deductibles for landlords.
Propertymark are feeding into the UK Government at a range of levels on different issues. In a current industry roundtable on refugee access to the Private Rented Sector (PRS) we are discussing key issues for those in the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme.
Peers from all parties have backed a report highlighting major problems with Universal Credit (UC), including the need for immediate payments to cover the first five weeks of a claim that are not recovered from future payments.
The Northern Ireland Executive announced improvements to Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) which can be made to private tenants to cover a shortfall between benefit payments received and rent incurred.
The Department for Work and Pensions have confirmed to Propertymark that changes will be made to Universal Credit Rent Arrears Payments so that they will be calculated at the same time as Direct Rent Payments.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer's Autumn Spending Review and Budget provided clarity on measures affecting the property industry which have been announced over the last three-six months including the levy on developers re unsafe cladding. Other factors announced affecting property agents provide some good news, however, it leaves a lot to be desired.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced a number of measures affecting the property industry in the UK Government’s 2021 budget, but Propertymark believes more should be done in order to tackle COVID-related rent arrears.
The Welsh Government announced today, 20 July, a new Early Alert Scheme which will provide £1.4 million of funding to debt advice services that have faced a dramatic increase due to the pandemic in order to further support the private rented sector (PRS).