Alex McCallum
Alex McCallum

By Alex McCallum

Planning for the homes we need

Last week saw the release of the quarterly stats on planning applications in England. The data is our opportunity to get a preview of how many homes are likely to be built in the near future and helps us to assess whether planning slows down the delivery of the new residential properties we need.

Source; DCLG Table P120: District planning authorities

Planning applications take time and the chart of headline activity for residential and commercial above, shows how the process … MORE...

Steve Akehurst
Steve Akehurst

By Steve Akehurst

No shortcuts available: the Conservatives and a housing offer for young people

With party conference season on the horizon, there is a renewed chatter of a big housing ‘offer’ for young people from the Conservatives. This stems from a concern, reinvigorated by the general election, about what the decline of home ownership and rise of expensive private renting is doing to the party’s electoral fortunes.

So what are the options open to the government? So far rumours seem to be rumbling among journalists that Help to Buy – the scheme which providers … MORE...

Deborah Garvie
Deborah Garvie

By Deborah Garvie

Government auditors say housing benefit freeze is a driver of homelessness

A National Audit Office report, published today, finds that the freeze on housing benefit is “likely” driving the increase in homelessness.  Shelter is calling on the Chancellor to show the Government is serious about homelessness prevention and announce an end to the freeze.

“The decrease in affordability of properties in the private rented sector, of which welfare reforms such as the capping of Local Housing Allowance [housing benefit in private rented housing] are an element, have driven the increase in … MORE...

Kate Webb
Kate Webb

By Kate Webb

Local housing allowance cuts are too deep for renters to work their way out

Housing benefit freezes are putting renters at risk of homelessness. Shelter’s new campaign is calling on the government to pledge more help in the Autumn Budget by re-linking Local Housing Allowance to actual rents.  

Private renters are now enduring the seventh consecutive year of cuts to housing benefit. At Shelter we’re only too well aware of the impact this has had on people’s ability to find and keep a home.

It’s no coincidence that homelessness triggered by the loss of … MORE...

Vicky Pearlman
Vicky Pearlman

By Vicky Pearlman

Happier and healthier: improving conditions in the PRS

“The bathroom had severe damp, as did two out of the three bedrooms. The electrics were in a terrible, dangerous, state. The family had five children, the youngest was 11. Both the parents and the children struggled with depression and low self-esteem.”

“Damp and mould are probably the most reported problems, but they are often not the most serious. The most serious harm is caused by excess cold. It is insidious; the cause of death is never ‘got too cold’. … MORE...