Change afoot for homeless families on Universal Credit?

Paying housing costs through Universal Credit is causing problems for tenants, landlords and local councils alike, particularly in temporary accommodation. So we are pleased that the Government is planning to move this support back to locally-administered housing benefit.

Late last week we learnt that DWP Ministers are preparing to issue new guidance to ensure that families living in temporary accommodation, in areas where full Univeral Credit (UC) has been rolled out, will have their housing costs met by housing benefit … Read more

Some more renting good news!

In another step forwards in increasing rights for tenants the Government announced yesterday that it will use its powers to make Client Money Protect (CMP) mandatory for all letting and managing agents.

Yesterday we received some good news as the Government announced it would accept the recommendations of Baroness Hayter and Lord Palmer of Childs Hill’s review into Client Money Protection (CMP). This review called for the Government to use its powers in the Housing and Planning Act to make … Read more

Why private renters in England worry about losing their home

In England, a shocking three in ten private renters worried about losing their home in the last year. Shelter’s John Bibby finds out why.

So, why would three in ten private renters in England have worried about losing their home? High or increasing rent costs? Perhaps, but our research shows even private renters who aren’t struggling to pay their rent are worrying about losing their home.

In fact, the leading reasons tenants give don’t relate to being able to pay … Read more

London Homelessness Awards

The London Homelessness Awards are the country’s leading homelessness awards. Sponsored by the London Housing Foundation, Crisis, Shelter and the London Housing Directors, prize money is awarded to the organisations that demonstrate innovative and creative solutions for tackling homelessness in London.

Last year’s winner was the House of St Barnabas Employment Academy project, who work to break the cycle of homelessness by providing training, work experience and employment opportunities to help people to rebuild their lives. This all happens in … Read more

Want to reduce homelessness? We need longer tenancies

With the passing of Bob Blackman’s Homelessness Reduction Bill, there is a renewed emphasis on preventing homelessness. Today’s statistics show that the growth in homelessness is being caused by short-term private tenancies.  If the Government is serious about reducing homelessness, we need stable tenancies which people at risk of homelessness can afford.

Today, the first new major new homelessness legislation for 15 years, the Government-backed Homelessness Reduction Bill, passed another parliament milestone. It heralds a welcome renewed emphasis on prevention … Read more

Temporary accommodation: Here's what we should do to prevent homelessness

Marcus Jones, the homelessness minister, has confirmed a change in council funding to encourage local authorities to spend money on stopping homelessness instead of on costly temporary accommodation. But local authorities will be left with few tools to prevent people becoming homeless without an end to the Local Housing Allowance freeze.

In keeping with its focus on prevention, the government wants councils to spend money currently spent on expensive temporary accommodation on stopping people becoming homeless in the first place. … Read more

Putting Housing First to reduce homelessness

Housing First is an innovative approach to housing some of the most complex and vulnerable people in society, placing them directly into their own tenancy and then providing them with wrap round intensive support. It’s an idea the government has said it’s keen to explore and would replace the traditional stepped approach where a person has to prove they are “tenancy ready” before being housed. This approach has a 80-90% success rate in tenancy sustainment, and Shelter’s Inspiring Change Manchester … Read more

Shifting attitudes to welfare: Insights into our 'change audience'

This is the third in a series of blogs talking about Shelter’s campaign to change public attitudes towards welfare.

You may have read Paul’s blog recently on Shelter’s campaign to soften the – sometimes quite toxic – debate on welfare, so that any political party will feel less emboldened to implement further cuts, and will work to improve the system moving forward.

Paul touched upon the audience we’re targeting and why they’re important for the campaign, but I’m going to … Read more

Selective licensing in Newham: a local scheme of national significance

When Newham Council introduced the first borough-wide licensing scheme in 2013, it looked like a novel way to improve their booming private rented sector.

While licensing powers were originally introduced in the mid-2000s as a targeted tool to tackle anti-social behaviour, Newham’s ambition was much bigger. They adopted a borough wide scheme to integrate licensing with their other environmental health powers and crack down on rogue landlords and poor conditions too.

It’s an approach that has got results. In the … Read more

The government's welfare cuts are hurting their efforts to stop homelessness

Renters on a low income breathed a sigh of relief last year when the government said it would not make any additional benefit cuts. But last week’s confirmation of the removal of housing benefit for 18-21-year-olds come April and the rollout of the reduced benefit cap earlier this year, show that there are still many reasons to be worried.

Often overlooked is the fact that all private renters in need of housing benefit (more than 1.2 million households) are also Read more

New Civic Housebuilding: How to build homes and influence people

Last week, Shelter released our vision for how to build the homes we need: New Civic Housebuilding. The weekend’s Sunday papers covered our exclusive new research into attitudes to new homes – here we set out the analysis of our findings.

 

Public Support for new housebuilding

 

As part of our research into the attitudes of English adults toward new homes, covered extensively last week (for example see here, here and here), we found that … Read more

Cutting housing benefit for 18-21s will have devastating consequences

The government is removing a vital part of the housing safety net for 18 to 21-year-olds. Ministers should change their minds and reverse this decision to stop young people being forced onto the streets.

Today, the government laid measures to stop the majority of young people aged 18 to 21 receiving support for their rent if they  claim Universal Credit.

Despite rumours over the weekend that the government was considering abandoning the policy to avoid a spike in rough sleeping, … Read more