Lessons from Wales on reforming homelessness legislation

The way in which councils in England support homeless people could change considerably if the homelessness reduction bill becomes law. The bill will introduce a preventative approach to homelessness, where all people, regardless of whether they are in ‘priority need’, receive some help and assistance to stay in their home or find a new home. People in priority need, such as families with children, will retain a right to be rehoused if they lose their home.

The bill … Read more

2016: Huge Changes in Housing

2016 was a monumentally busy year for Shelter. It was our 50th anniversary, but we hardly took a moment to acknowledge it.

As the Housing Bill made its way through parliament, we were there every step of the way – squeezing in as many demands, changes and concessions as we could get. The hard work made a big difference.

With the help of our brilliant Shelter supporters, we’ve managed to win a series of huge changes that are set to … Read more

Land banking: what’s the story? (part 2)

As we saw in the first part of this blog, land banking is a normal part of development but it’s not a simple story. The big developers certainly own and control a huge amount of land which could be used for housing. There are also land trading companies that don’t build homes but land bank purely to cream off profits. However, the housebuilders are right to say that to a large extent they need to hold a future pipeline … Read more

Land banking: what’s the story? (part 1)

At Shelter we argue consistently that the best long term solution to England’s housing crisis is to increase housebuilding: especially homes which are affordable for low earners to rent or buy. So when it seems that developers are sitting on land – often with planning permission – and not building homes, this frustrates us as much as anyone.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has repeatedly drawn attention to the large and growing stock of unbuilt plots with planning permission (nearly … Read more

Right to Rent: Tenants are footing the bill in fees

Last week the government tightened its Right to Rent rules, making it a criminal offence for a landlord to let to anyone they know, or have reasonable cause to believe, is an illegal immigrant.

Under the policy, landlords must check that their tenants can legally rent a property. Tenants must produce a document, such as a passport or a certificate of naturalisation, to prove their Right to Rent.

Until last week, a landlord that contravened this law would face a … Read more

Shelter is 50, but we’re not celebrating

Today is Shelter’s 50th anniversary, and though we’ve achieved a lot over the past five decades, we’re not celebrating. We’re out campaigning against child homelessness, with street stalls in five different cities and campaign events in all 54 of our shops in England. The country is once again in the grip of a housing crisis and, we’re on the front line fighting it.

Every day since our Founding Day, on 1st December 1966, we’ve campaigned to make sure everyone … Read more

The Green Book: 50 years on

Shelter was launched to highlight a homelessness crisis. Now we are in the middle of another one.

Research launched today reveals that over a quarter of a million people in England are homeless. Most of these people are living in temporary accommodation provided by councils. Some are living in homeless hostels and some are sleeping rough. This is a conservative measurement. Many more people are homeless, but hidden.

These people cut your hair, sell you clothes and go to school … Read more

Shelter at 50 - help us finish what we started

You will have to excuse me if I am a little emotional this week. But, I have two good reasons for feeling this way.

The first is that this is a very special week for us at Shelter. Fifty years ago we were founded in St Martin’s Church where last night we held a very special carol concert for our supporters.  This event marks the end of a year in which we have reflected on our history, set out our … Read more