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23 November 2023

Autumn statement 2023: the key news for Welsh housing associations and social housing tenants

Autumn statement 2023: the key news for Welsh housing associations and social housing tenants

UK Government has shared its Autumn 2023 statement, focusing on tax cuts for working people and businesses, welfare reforms, and investment in businesses targeted at growth sectors.

The statement has come at a time when social housing tenants, and the services that support them, are still feeling the impacts of the cost of living crisis acutely. While there were some announcements in the statement that will be welcomed by many as easing the pressure, others have raised further questions.

Here, we have set out some of the key announcements that impact the Welsh social housing sector, and the next steps we will be taking to clarify any details.

A full briefing for our members is available here.


The government is providing £120 million in funding for the devolved administrations and local authorities in England to invest in homelessness prevention. We are now seeking urgent clarity on the status of this funding commitment and how it will be deployed.

Alongside this news, we are currently campaigning with Cymorth Cymru for Welsh Government to increase the housing support grant in its budget for 2024-25. Every year this grant funds services that help more than 60,000 people to avoid homelessness, escape abuse, live in their own homes, and thrive in their communities. However, our updated research across homelessness and housing support services, shows that the current lack of funding is negatively affecting service delivery, and services are no longer able to withstand cuts.

Find out more about our Housing Matters campaign with Cymorth Cymru here.

Welfare and benefits

The Chancellor also announced that benefits will increase next year by 6.7% - reflecting the inflation rate for September 2023. This represents an average increase of £470 per household.

This news will undoubtedly be welcomed by the people and families who have been unable to afford basic essentials throughout the cost of living crisis. However, both the UK and Welsh governments need to turn their attention to the other ways that people who are on the lowest incomes - including Welsh housing association tenants - still need support to help them deal with the years of debt and stress caused by rising costs.

Following our recent research into the impact of the ongoing cost of living crisis on housing associations and their tenants, we have recently put a set of urgent asks to both the UK and Welsh governments to ensure people get the support they need. This includes prioritising the creation of an energy social tariff and providing affordable repayment options for those in energy debt, as well as protecting existing emergency funds and ensuring that routes to support are accessible and targeted to those who most need it.

Visit this page to read our Ends Won’t Meet cost of living research report, and find out more about our calls to UK and Welsh governments.

Alongside this, reforms to the Work Capability Assessment were announced, which will see £1.3billion of funding over the next five years being targeted to support people with health conditions back into work. An additional £1.3billion will be provided to support those out of work for over a year with no health conditions.

Stronger sanctions will also be put in place for those who choose not to engage with any programmes that aim to support them back into work, and claims will be closed for individuals who have been on an open-ended sanction for over six months.

Unlike the benefits increases, this move will be devastating for many people who are unable to work as a result of legitimate long-term health issues. The threat of losing their benefits if they cannot find work will add huge strain to vulnerable people on the lowest incomes - including many who live in housing association homes - when they are already struggling with rising living costs.

Block grant to Wales

Rebecca Evans MS has since issued a statement confirming Welsh Government will receive an additional £305m across 2023-24 and 2024-25. This includes an additional £133m in resource budget in 2023-24, and an additional £167m in resource and £5.8m in capital in 2024-25.

The Welsh Government draft budget, due on 19th December, will set out proposals for how spending on public services will be allocated in the coming year.