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Welfare reform to leave UK housing sector in a "worse state" by end of 2013 - CIH survey

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Welfare reform to leave UK housing sector in a "worse state" by end of 2013 - CIH survey

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Universal Credit

Welfare reform to leave UK housing sector in a Welfare reform to leave UK housing sector in a "worse state' by end of 2013 - CIH survey

The UK housing sector will be in a "worse state" in 12 months due to the impact of welfare reform, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Housing.

CIH questioned 300 senior figures from across the industry for its annual UK housing panel report, with more than three quarters of respondents citing welfare reform as their main concern.

Almost two-thirds said they believed the housing industry will be in a worse state in 12 months’ time, while just one in 10 said it would be better off.

CIH chief executive Grainia Long (pictured) said: "Welfare reform represents a fundamental change for tenants and housing professionals, so it is no surprise that our housing panel cited it as their biggest concern.

"It will radically change the way the system operates, creating major challenges for all concerned. And even at his point much of the detail about exactly how the system will operate is still yet to be confirmed, creating additional concerns and risks.

“There is no doubt that 2013 will be a challenging year for housing and at CIH we will be doing everything we can to support professionals from across the industry cope with those challenges.”

Another area of concern (one fifth of respondents) was the falling levels of grant funding for housing development and the impact on new affordable housing supply by social landlords.

CIH has consistently argued that the Government should lift local authority borrowing caps to give them more money to invest in developing new homes, which would also help to create new jobs and boost the economy.

The third biggest concern (just under one fifth of respondents) was the government’s comprehensive spending review and future rent setting policy.

Grainia Long said the survey would help CIH determine its priorities for 2013.

She said: “Our housing panel has provided us with a valuable insight into the issues they will be facing this year and we look forward to helping them respond and take the industry forward.

“We will continue to lobby government to make sure the concerns of the housing industry are heard at the highest level. And we have a range of education and training tools available to help professionals at every level rise to the challenges they will be dealing with in 2013 and beyond.”

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