Our response to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s speech

Rachel Reeves giving a speech as Chancellor of the Exchequer
Here are our thoughts on the Rachel Reeves's first speech as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

There was much to welcome in new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel Reeves’ speech this week if you work in housing and homelessness.

Reaffirming Labour’s commitment to the 1.5million housebuilding target is great news – as is requiring universal coverage of local plans and the restoration of mandatory housing targets.

However, the word I particularly appreciated was “stability”. Rachel Reeves is promising investors stability to increase the UK’s appeal. Bearing in mind what is happening elsewhere in Europe, the UK is becoming very attractive.

Our message to the Chancellor of the Exchequer

The word “stability” means something much more tangible for us at The Connection and for people who experience homelessness. It means having somewhere permanent and secure to live, which is affordable. It means being able to pay for heat and light and regular decent meals.

For us to create this stability for people experiencing homelessness, we need to build houses which they can make into a home. Then, we can provide the support and resources for people to thrive in that home.

We are delighted that the government has reinstated housebuilding targets at a national level. We also look forward to hearing more about the proposed new towns that could alleviate so much of the housing stress. I was brought up in Welwyn Garden City, built in the 1920s. It was planned with care and thought, with good quality housing, mixed tenure and size, local amenities, jobs and green space.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, has pledged to build 10,000 new council homes. In her speech, Reeves promised to help councils by recruiting new planning officers to take through decisions quickly. This is a good start but we need housing NOW.

The Connection has set ourselves a target to get 300 of London’s most excluded rough sleepers into long term accommodation with long term support by 2028. We could do with some help and the accommodation doesn’t need to be in central London.

I invite the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves, and all the newly appointed ministers at HM Treasury, to focus on the long term solutions to homelessness through more housing, not short term fixes like night shelters and hostels. We look forward to seeing their plans come together over the coming months.

Pam Orchard
Chief Executive Officer