May’s General Election has set the tone for policy landscape with significant developments affecting both housing and cities in the North of England. The NHC’s policy team continues to support members in understanding current policy and anticipating how policy may evolve over the coming five years.
We have continued our work around devolution and are working across the North to support the newly emerging Combined Authorities and the wider aspirations from many Northern localities who have submitted devolution proposals. The NHC role as a connector between housing providers and local authorities and bringing together the new Combined Authorities is a key aspect of our role.
With the advent of devolution, it is imperative that housing plays a role in the new landscape and the Commission for Housing in the North will be at the forefront of our work to ensure that policy development is better nuanced towards places and their own housing and economic markets. The Commissioners working with us bring huge amounts of varied expertise and the start up meetings with NHC members were extremely positive and full of innovative, solution focused thinking.
With further changes to welfare to come including the roll out of Universal Credit and the reduction of the benefit cap we will continue to work with our members to support them and their customers to prepare for these changes and continue work to prevent or reduce the impact of poverty. The extension of the Right to Buy will bring significant changes within local housing markets and NHC members will be striving to ensure that 1 for 1 replacement is delivered. Our local authority members have raised concerns about possible rising levels of homelessness and this will be a key workstream for us over the coming months.