THE chief executive of Manningham Housing Association has said the Government’s Spending Review measures must be targeted at communities and families that urgently need support.
Responding to the statement announced on Wednesday, Lee Bloomfield said: “It was striking to hear the Chancellor warn that UK unemployment is expected to rise to 2.6 million by the middle of next year.
“I fear that areas such as Bradford and Keighley, where MHA owns and manages more than 1,400 homes for around 6,000 residents, will be particularly vulnerable to further redundancies.”
He added: “We need cast iron guarantees of targeted Government assistance for those who have lost their jobs or are likely to do so, many of whom are of black and minority ethnic origin and have already been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
“People from across these communities want to play their full part in the economic recovery that everyone hopes will lie ahead and no neighbourhood should be left behind.
“The £4 billion levelling up fund is to be welcomed but this money must be fairly and openly allocated on the basis of genuine local need, not as a means of further benefitting parts of the country that are already well resourced.
“Some of this money could support the construction of more affordable homes including larger family properties, the lack of which has had hugely damaging health effects on those forced to live in overcrowded conditions.
“Community-based organisations such as MHA stand ready to work with the Government to offer guidance on where we believe the new spending commitments can deliver the most positive results.”