The government has been accused of being “unable to spend a third” of their budget on housing and almost £2 billion has been given back to the Treasury.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, figures show that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) could not find projects for the £1.9 billion of funding budgeted for 2022 to 2023.
Figures published by the Guardian shows that £245 million which was intended to support improvements for building safety along with £255 million to fund new homes.
It is likely that the money was not spent due to in parts rising interest rates and uncertainty in the housing market as some are predicting a “housing crash.”
There has been lower than expected demand for Help to Buy therefore the £1.2 billion which was earmarked for this has been returned .
Jack Shaw, a local government expert who uncovered the figures, said, “It’s clear that the Government is experiencing significant challenges investing in housing because of a perfect storm in market conditions.
“The Government’s decision to delay housing investment or withdraw it altogether as a result of lower than anticipated spending will, however, mean fewer homes are built.”
Shaw added, “There’s a question mark over whether the Government can do more to get investment out the door – and in the medium-term the Government should consider devolving the Affordable Homes Programme, which has already happened in London.”
A DLUHC spokesperson said, “These are multi-year funding programmes that are being spent flexibly – meaning some money can be moved into future years depending on demand and the wider economic climate.”
Lisa Nandy, Labour’s shadow housing secretary, said, “This absolutely beggars belief. We are in the middle of an acute housing crisis, even the Housing Secretary says the system is ‘broken’, and yet the Government was unable to spend a third of its housing budget.
“The Tories have simply given up.”