More funding for affordable homes and accommodation for rough sleepers has been announced as part of a housing package worth billions of pounds.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he was extending the affordable homes programme with a new settlement of £12.2 billion to be delivered over five years from 2021.
This will be the largest cash investment in affordable housing in a decade, he said.
Almost £1.1 billion from the Housing Infrastructure Fund will go towards building around 70,000 new homes in high demand areas across the country.
And Mr Sunak is allocating nearly £650 million to help rough sleepers into permanent accommodation.
He said in Wednesday’s Budget speech: “That will buy up to 6,000 new places for people to live, enable a step change in support services, and help us meet our promise to end rough sleeping in this Parliament.”
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Today was an important first step, but it’s not job done. To see housing in the Government’s infrastructure revolution and the biggest cash injection in a decade is good news.
“The big question is how much of this money will be put into the social homes we desperately need to end the housing emergency, and transform the lives of millions.
“Extra investment in rough sleeping services is also very welcome but homelessness is more than rough sleeping alone. 280,000 people are homeless in England including 126,000 children.
“Building social homes is the only solution and voices right across the political spectrum agree.”
... while the additional funding announced to tackle this is much needed, a dark cloud remains over the Government’s ability to end rough sleeping within this Parliament without tackling its root causesJon Sparkes, Crisis charity
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “Missing from today’s budget is bold action to prevent people from being forced on the streets in the first place, such as clear targets for increasing the supply of social housing and restoring housing benefit to cover the cost of rent.
“Rough sleeping is the most brutal and devastating form of homelessness and while the additional funding announced to tackle this is much needed, a dark cloud remains over the Government’s ability to end rough sleeping within this Parliament without tackling its root causes. “