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We are a cross-party, member-led network, providing a single voice for our member councils

‘A missed opportunity’: DCN responds to the Budget

Published: 6 March 2024

In response to the Budget, Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Chairman of the District Councils’ Network, said:

“Today’s Budget was a missed opportunity to put local government onto a sound financial footing for the long term. Many district councils continue to face acute financial pressure, especially from the rapidly mounting cost of temporary accommodation and homelessness prevention.

“We welcome the extension of the Household Support Fund, which will lead to this safety net continuing for some of the most vulnerable people we support. But we need to understand what this will look like after this extension comes to an end.

“Sadly, the Chancellor did little to help councils reeling from the cost of providing temporary accommodation to those who would otherwise be on the streets. The housing benefit subsidy which used to cover councils’ temporary accommodation costs is – astonishingly – still tied to 2011 rents and now meets just a small proportion of our actual costs. Councils have been working flat-out to support our most vulnerable people, but the truth is that this work cannot continue unless we are able to fund it.

“We welcome the move to increase the proportion of Right to Buy receipts that can be used to fund new social housing. However, to solve the housing shortage, far greater effort is required, and we look forward to working with Government on a long-term solution so everyone can have a home.

“We also fully support the ending of the tax regime for short-term holiday lettings, which has contributed to the housing shortage in many areas of the country. However, further action is required if we are to prevent the pricing-out of people from the town or village they call home.

“The extension of the Long-Term Plan for Towns constitutes a recognition that DCN member councils are best placed to deliver regeneration and investment schemes at a local level, delivering for our communities.”

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