Action against rogue landlords

Today the Government has published guidance urging councils to tackle the growing problem of rogue landlords. At Shelter, we have been campaigning for action on rogue landlords for two years, so this is a welcome development.

While media attention may be focused on the terrible cases of ‘beds in sheds’, the guidance points out that there is also a wider problem and that ‘local authorities should take action in all circumstances’. We have heard shocking stories about the treatment people … Read more

Waiting too long for a stable home

It’s a sad reality that in Britain we get used to putting up with the impact the high cost of housing has on our lives.

We accept having to spend an hour getting to and from work every day as we can’t afford to live any closer to our jobs. We think of the family homes we grew up in with nostalgia rather than aspiration, accepting we are unlikely to live anywhere similar. We pay half our salaries to keep … Read more

Build-to-let: just the tonic?

Over the last few months the Government has begun to take quite seriously some of the realities of England’s housing crisis that we have been banging on about for years:

We simply don’t have enough homes – we desperately need to build more. More and more people are renting privately for the long term – not through some fleeting lifestyle choice, but because buying a home is just too expensive. Building homes is good for the economy and for creating… Read more
Even baby boomers worry about house prices

The Shelter policy team has been lucky to have Mike Smith volunteering with us over the summer. Mike had a long career in finance before looking to move into a policy role, so we’ve benefited enormously from his perspective.

As news reports today show that house prices have risen at three times the rate of inflation over the last decade, Mike reflects on how his generation has benefited…but suggests that perceptions may be changing.

‘Having turned fifty a year or … Read more

Co-operative legacy for east London?

At Shelter we’re always interested in new ways to make housing genuinely affordable, and I have a particular interest in housing co-operatives which are hugely under-represented in the UK.

Community land trusts can take a variety of forms, but at their core is the idea that to make housing affordable, land should be owned by the community. This way, the cost of homes can be reduced and insulated from fluctuations in land value.

I think the community land trust model … Read more

What homes where?

Getting homes built is a tricky business. The new National Planning Policy Framework encourages local based planning (rather than top down regional spatial strategies) and more local community engagement on plans and holding councils to account. A big concern is how to deal with local opposition to any new development plans. That’s a lot for local councils to take on at a time of severe cuts to their budgets, along with imminent decisions on who gets affordable housing and for … Read more