Monthly archives: April 2016

Steve Akehurst
Steve Akehurst

By Steve Akehurst

Three practical amendments Shelter is fighting for on the Housing Bill

The Housing and Planning Bill returns to the House of Lords for Report stage today. This is the stage at which crucial votes are won or lost by the government. There’s five Report days between now and the end of April, covering the wide range of issues in the Bill.

Since October Shelter and our supporters have been working tirelessly with government and Parliamentarians to try and influence this Bill. There are some positive aspects of the Bill – on … MORE...

Kate Webb
Kate Webb

By Kate Webb

Gatekeeping council accused suicidal client of queue jumping

If you’re sick and go to A&E you can expect to be taken seriously, even if the receptionist suspects you could have waited for a GP appointment. You may be triaged, you may endure a long wait, you may even eventually be sent away without treatment if you really didn’t need it. But you wouldn’t expect to be fobbed off before you’ve even got a foot in the door.

Unfortunately people who need help because they are homeless cannot guarantee … MORE...

John Bibby
John Bibby

By John Bibby

Forced council sales: a small amendment that makes things a whole lot worse

They look like such an innocuous series of little amendments. But the most recent proposed government changes to the Housing and Planning Bill could make the potential impact of the forced council sales policy go from bad to worse.

You can find the amendments I’m talking about here. They do two things.

First, they change what’s under consideration for sale from ‘high’ value council homes to ‘higher’ value council homes.

That might not sound like much, but it gives the … MORE...

John Bibby
John Bibby

By John Bibby

Over half London’s private renters are struggling. Renting needs fixing now.

When does a city’s housing problem get so bad that it’s legitimate to describe it as a ‘crisis’?

People often quibble about whether the current housing situation constitutes a ‘crisis’ or remains only ‘very serious’. But with more than half of London’s 2.7 million private renters now struggling to pay their rent at least some of the time, it’s beyond doubt that the city is in anything other than a full-blown crisis.

Doing something about this crisis will be one … MORE...

Caroline Aliwell
Caroline Aliwell

By Caroline Aliwell

A life-saving amendment

You might not know it, but every year around 70 people are killed and a staggering 350,000 people are injured through contact with electricity. In 2013-14 there were 49 deaths from electrical fires in the home.

Alarming, isn’t it?

Thankfully this is set to change due to a very welcome amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill.

Late yesterday, the Government published a new clause that will introduce mandatory electrical safety checks for privately rented properties, helping to prevent … MORE...