The Tricorn House Mystery. Shelter investigates...

Fed up of that derelict, empty eyesore in the town centre? Puzzled by the half-built building round the corner? Mystified by the empty plot of land along the main road?

You’re not alone. These are common sights up and down the country. In every village, town and city there’s land going to waste. Land that could be used for homes.

In England we’re not building enough homes, and haven’t for a generation. It’s at the heart of every housing problem … Read more

‘Landlord exit’ part 3: it’s time to do something about landlord churn

This is the third of three posts looking at the reasons for, incidence and implications of private landlords leaving the market. Part one used new research to quantify landlord churn; part two what causes it. This part looks at the options for reducing the impact that landlord churn has on tenants.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of private landlords – at least one in ten – leave the market by selling up or moving back into their properties. This forces … Read more

The case for ending the freeze: even more evidence

Earlier this week, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation highlighted the growing cost of our attempts to shave money off the housing benefit budget. Its report, which found more than 100 families a day lost their home last year, demonstrated the misery and uncertainty faced by people on low-incomes in rented housing.

One woman in her 50s described living precariously, and how it had pushed her to the edge: “I’ve just got pressure on my mind the whole time, where am … Read more

‘Landlord exit’ part 2: is the threat of a landlord exodus real?

This is the second of three posts looking at the reasons for, incidence and implications of private landlords leaving the market. Part one used new research to quantify landlord churn. This post considers what causes it. Part three – to be published tomorrow – will look at the options for reducing the impact that landlord churn has on tenants.

At some point, you are bound to have read a screaming headline warning something like ‘one in 10 landlords will leave Read more

The benefit cap: real misery for no good purpose

We recently received some good news about a bad policy. Back in June, the High Court found that the household benefit cap is unlawful in its current guise. The benefit cap restricts the amount that an out of work household can receive in benefits to £442 a week for families in London and £385 for families elsewhere in the country.

Shelter intervened in the case to raise our concerns that the cap is putting families at risk of homelessness. The … Read more

‘Landlord exit’ part 1: more than one in ten landlords leave the market every year

This is the first of three posts looking at the reasons for, incidence and implications of private landlords leaving the market. This part will use new research to quantify landlord churn. Part two – to be published tomorrow – will consider what causes it. Part three will look at the options for reducing the impact that landlord churn has on tenants.

For a long time, landlord churn – the rate that landlords enter and leave the market – has been … Read more

What next for land market transparency?

As regular readers of this blog will know, Shelter has been campaigning for several years now for the Government to bring together and open up the huge amount of data collected on land and property. The Housing White Paper signalled the Government’s intention to take this further, with aims such as completing the Land Registry and releasing key datasets on corporate and commercial ownership and foreign ownership. And both the Conservative and Labour Party manifestos committed to greater transparency, with … Read more

Providing the legal protection to prevent another Grenfell

The devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in west London has thrown into stark relief the question of whether housing law and building regulations are adequate to keep people safe. Shelter plans to commission a review to identify the current gaps in housing law, the weaknesses around enforcement and to propose legal solutions to reduce the risk of a similar tragedy occurring in the future.

To inform the scope of the review, last week Shelter hosted a roundtable with housing lawyers … Read more

Phantom Homes – where are the homes we need going?

It’s now an accepted fact that our housebuilding market is broken. It quite simply isn’t working for ordinary people, and this is clearest in it’s failure to build homes to the scale that we currently need.

Often we hear major developers saying that a key reason behind this is that the planning system is too complicated, too convoluted, and just not fit for purpose. This also offers a simple answer – if the planning system is broken then we need … Read more