‘Shelter has been such a great support’

Denise was heavily pregnant, going through a break up, and living in temporary accommodation when she first contacted Shelter. To make matters worse, she didn’t know where she’d be in a month’s time. The stress was unbearable.

‘The council said they’d only house me until I had the baby,’ Denise told us. ‘They said I’d made myself intentionally homeless because I’d moved out from where I’d been living with my husband. I was really worried, and didn’t know what to … Read more

Why are Grenfell survivors still living in hotels? The curious case of 100 West Cromwell Road

It’s now more than two months on from the Grenfell Tower fire, and many of those who survived this terrible event are still living in hotels, traumatised and without the basic comforts of home. Many survivors need time to grieve and recover before they can start to think about a permanent new place to live. But there’s no doubt that Kensington and Chelsea Council’s progress on identifying suitable accommodation, both temporary and permanent, has been far too slow for survivors.… Read more

A consensus is emerging on land value capture: What we need now is political action

£87 billion could be unlocked for infrastructure and housebuilding. That’s the core of an article in yesterday’s Financial Times (FT) calling for major reforms to the land market – reforms we at Shelter have long been calling for.

This number is also of no surprise to us because we know that land value capture offers huge potential for unlocking investment. Indeed, we’ve worked closely with the Centre for Progressive Capitalism, which identified that number, to make sure we get it … Read more

Proving our worth

68,500 people. That’s huge.

If you’ve been following the World Athletics Championships, imagine every seat in the Olympic stadium taken up by someone who has a story to tell about how Shelter changed their lives in 2016/17.

That’s what we did, and do: we change lives, and now we can prove it.   

We’re not satisfied with feeling it in our bones, we want hard facts and figures to prove our impact, and learn from them.

Our Impact

Our first ever … Read more

‘I rang Shelter’s helpline at every stage’

Kimberley was 34 weeks pregnant when she found out her landlord was selling up. One minute, she and her husband Mark were preparing the home for their new arrival. The next, they were facing the prospect of being homeless.

‘I worried that we might end up with nowhere at all,’ Kimberley told us.

‘Mark broke down the first night we were there. We were in the room and he just said, “I can’t do this.” I had to say – … Read more

‘Having my own place makes a massive difference’

When we first met Matthew, he’d been homeless for two years and sleeping on the streets of Manchester. ‘I was at my lowest point,’ he’d later tell us. But now – thanks to help from Shelter – he’s back on his feet and rebuilding his life.

‘I’m so grateful I went to Shelter,’ Matthew said.

‘There have been so many positive changes. Even when I haven’t been the easiest person to work with, Shelter’s staff have shown such patience. I’ll … Read more

The Mayor is giving us a new window into viability but we still need action at all levels

Last week, through the case of Hornsey Town Hall, we highlighted once again how a lack of transparency for viability assessments is contributing to the loss of affordable homes across England.

In London, however, the Mayor is listening and progress is being made in the form of a new piece of supplementary planning guidance (SPG).

This guidance – Homes for Londoners Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance 2017 – seeks to increase transparency around viability and increase the … Read more

Don’t be fooled by the campaign to axe stamp duty

Ahead of the Autumn Budget, the Daily Telegraph is leading a fresh charge against stamp duty land tax – a levy on property purchases which taxes the average buyer lightly, but hits buyers of £1 million+ mansions, second homes, and buy-to-let properties harder. Now MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has put cutting stamp duty ‘as a matter of urgency’ at the centre of his prescription for the Conservative Party.

A spate of articles have dubbed stamp duty ‘a tax on mobility Read more

Leasehold abuse – why builders won’t mind if we ban it

Earlier this year, we wrote about the growing issue of exploitative practice in the leasehold system. We were pleased that the government’s White Paper pledged to tackle this problem, and that the need for action was reiterated in party manifestos. In July, DCLG published a consultation on ‘Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market’, to which Shelter will respond.

Many homebuyers have been subject to incredibly unscrupulous practices – from spiralling ground rents to unreasonable charges, and freeholds … Read more

Helping more people
How Shelter is working with councils to deliver homelessness prevention, advice and support

Working with local authorities is not new for Shelter – like many other charities who help the most vulnerable in society, we rely on funding and collaboration with local government to deliver our vital services. Our history is long and productive – for over 20 years this local authority funding has enabled us to make a huge difference to people struggling with bad housing and homelessness in … Read more

Viability and transparency – unless we [REDACTED] how can we expect [REDACTED] to trust [REDACTED]

Regular readers of our blog – or followers of our work on housing supply – will have repeatedly heard our calls for increased transparency within housebuilding. One particular area where this is vital is when it comes to the murky world of viability assessments.

These assessments are used to reduce the affordable housing provision and other community contributions that a developer has to make on a scheme.

Recently we saw (and wrote about) a particularly egregious example of this in … Read more

Support of last resort: alternatives to local welfare schemes to prevent and relieve homelessness

The safety net that local welfare schemes provide is stretched to breaking point. For families who have been homeless, or are facing homelessness now, this support is vital to their chances of making a fresh start. But ideas of what makes a ‘home’ can be severely tested if families are forced to go without basic household goods, such as a cooker, fridge, carpets of curtains.

The terrible events at Grenfell have brought into sharp focus what it means to … Read more