Housing benefit cap is good news for Mears

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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Mears is confident that controversial Government changes to housing benefit will boost its business during the next few years.

The Government is introducing a benefits cap of £400 a week for family homes and £290 a week for two-bed flats from next April.

Maintenance specialist Mears believes the move will lead to an increase in its core social housing market as people are forced out of private rented accommodation.

In a trading statement today, the firm said: “The proposed changes to the system for housing benefit will, in our opinion, promote the migration away from private dwellings towards social housing.

“The changes to the housing finance system will provide Local Authorities opportunities to invest further in their housing stock which can only be positive for the leading service providers.”

Mears also sees the recent spending review as an opportunity as public bodies look to outsource as much work as possible.

The company said: “The outlook for our business has never been better.

“Following the results of the HM Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, Mears believes that its Social Housing operations will continue to benefit from increased outsourcing opportunities in the sector as Local Authorities look to achieve further efficiency gains, particularly in the supply of essential repair and maintenance services.

“The significant majority of our Social Housing revenues are non-discretionary spend for services which our clients have a legal obligation to provide.”

Chairman Bob Holt said the firm had a group order book of £2.6bn and has already secured 90% of forecast revenues for next year and 75% for 2012.

Mears picked-up a string of contracts in the wake of Connaught’s collapse including a 4-year deal in Islington, north London worth up to £120m with extensions.

Holt said: “We continue to see unprecedented levels of opportunity within the public sector. We believe that the demand and opportunity for our two growth markets will continue to be strong and that Mears is very well placed to benefit from this.”

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