Dear Editor, To those of us in the social housing sector, the jump in unemployment to a 14-year high of 2.5 million translates into more people losing their homes through repossessions or inability to pay rent and joining council housing waiting lists. Many who will lose jobs will find getting back into work or on to the property ladder impossible for years, and will have to rely on affordable housing for a good, stable home.
At a time when prudence in the public sector is advocated by all parties, a warning must be sounded that cutting housing grants will not only reduce the number of new homes, it will also cut tenants’ chances to gain jobs or new skills. Housing associations like Hyde don’t just build homes but help tenants to get jobs, apprenticeships and useful skills. Without sustained funding these opportunities will dry up just as quickly as the number of new homes.
Rising unemployment does not have to lead to a social crisis. Investing in affordable housing will ensure that those who lose jobs can still have a decent and safe home and the support they need to get back into work.
The Hyde Group.