Kevin Garvey

By Kevin Garvey

The axe of council cuts is falling on support for homeless people

New government stats show that councils are making drastic cuts to housing services, which includes support for homeless people. Last year budgets for housing services were reduced by 8%, more than any other council area. This entails cuts to services that should help house homeless households, provide advice and support to people who aren’t eligible for re-housing, and help improve conditions in the private rented sector.

Councils are facing a mammoth challenge. More and more people need their bins … MORE...

Vicky Pearlman

By Vicky Pearlman

Five big concerns about Pay to Stay

Parliament must look long and hard at the potential impacts of the Government’s proposed Pay to Stay policy, part of the Housing and Planning Bill.

Shelter is not against the principle of some social housing tenants paying slightly higher rents, depending on their income and household need. But we are very concerned that doing it in this way risks taking a sledgehammer to a nut and finding there is little of the nut left at the end.

Under … MORE...

Steve Akehurst

By Steve Akehurst

Alternative ideas for funding the Right to Buy: some ways out for the government on the Housing Bill

There’s not much doubt about it, the government are having a bit of a nightmare when it comes to the Housing Bill, and specifically the forced sale of council homes.

A quick recap for the uninitiated: this is not the Right to Buy, but rather George Osborne’s way of funding Right to Buy discounts for Housing Association tenants. Councils in ‘high value’ areas will be required to auction off a certain number of their council homes to the highest bidder … MORE...

John Bibby

By John Bibby

Rents continue to grind upwards. Incomes are being left behind.

It’s now a year since the Office for National Statistics overhauled their experimental rent index and it’s fair to say they feel pretty well bedded in. We now have what feels like a reliable measure of rent inflation, which had previously been a gaping absence in the statistical toolbox.

But while the fact of the index is cause for celebration, what it shows is anything but. In the last five years rents across England have outstripped general inflation and earnings … MORE...

Kate Webb

By Kate Webb

Details still needed on social housing benefit limits

Last week the government announced a pause in plans to force supported housing providers to reduce their rents. Supported housing will not now be subject to the 1% rent cut due to come in across the social sector from this April, in order that the government can review the likely impact on providers.

The pause is welcome but risks being overshadowed by plans to further restrict rents by introducing the Local Housing Allowance caps across the social rented sector. This … MORE...