Kate Webb
Kate Webb

By Kate Webb

Providing the legal protection to prevent another Grenfell

The devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in west London has thrown into stark relief the question of whether housing law and building regulations are adequate to keep people safe. Shelter plans to commission a review to identify the current gaps in housing law, the weaknesses around enforcement and to propose legal solutions to reduce the risk of a similar tragedy occurring in the future.

To inform the scope of the review, last week Shelter hosted a roundtable with housing lawyers … MORE...

Robin White
Robin White

By Robin White

Phantom Homes – where are the homes we need going?

It’s now an accepted fact that our housebuilding market is broken. It quite simply isn’t working for ordinary people, and this is clearest in it’s failure to build homes to the scale that we currently need.

Often we hear major developers saying that a key reason behind this is that the planning system is too complicated, too convoluted, and just not fit for purpose. This also offers a simple answer – if the planning system is broken then we need … MORE...

Deborah Garvie
Deborah Garvie

By Deborah Garvie

Grenfell: a home is more than a roof over your head

Whenever there’s a lot of media and public interest in people who are homeless, it’s important to stop and think what we mean by a home.

Homelessness often follows a period of personal trauma – the loss of a loved one, serious illness, the breakdown of a relationship, an escape from domestic abuse or violence, or the loss of a job and income.

These are all things that any of us need time and space to deal with emotionally and … MORE...

Heather Spurr
Heather Spurr

By Heather Spurr

Are some Conservatives softening on the housing benefit freeze?

Whisper it, but the government’s current freeze on housing benefit may be losing popularity among some in the Conservative Party.

Yesterday, the Spectator and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation jointly held an event in Westminster called The Conservative route to fighting poverty. As Shelter’s new report highlights, one of the key things increasing poverty and homelessness is the failure of housing benefit to keep up with private rents. Shelter advisers tell us it is increasingly difficult for low-income families to secure … MORE...

Heather Spurr
Heather Spurr

By Heather Spurr

Housing benefit: The black hole that continues to grow

Something deeply worrying has happened to our private rented market.

Since 2011, as benefits have been cut back, a black hole has started to appear in our welfare system for private renters. This black hole is the widening gap between housing benefit and rents at the very cheapest end of the private rental market. The black hole means rents become completely out of reach for anyone on low earnings. It means more people are made homeless, more children are stuck … MORE...