How technology is changing the way Shelter tackles homelessness

At Shelter, our goal is to help people deal with bad housing and homelessness. We help people stay in the home they’ve got or, if they have lost their tenancy, to find a new one. And we want to ensure that people are living in safe and secure homes, so we help them understand their rights to improve poor conditions and, if necessary, challenge rogue landlords.

We do this through a combination of a free national helpline, digital advice, face-to-face … Read more

Is the Stamp Duty cut worth it?

In amongst the jokes and the political padding, Wednesday’s Autumn Budget aimed to deliver policy ideas to address the housing crisis. The top billing for housing this time certainly underlined the fact that this government wanted to show it’s a priority.

There were some positive announcements too. Some good news on Universal Credit payments, and an increase in the Targeted Assistance Funding for areas where Housing Benefits fail to cover the shortfalls in private rents (all at a cumulative cost … Read more

Witness the Fitness: Shelter backs new and improved ‘Fitness for Human Habitation’ Bill

On 19 January 2018, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Private Members Bill will have its Second Reading in Parliament. At Shelter we support this Bill and will be campaigning to get it passed. You may wonder why I’m telling you this now, almost two months ahead of schedule. But the history of this Bill tells us that we need to get moving now if we have any hopes of seeing it passed.

The Bill revives a clause which … Read more

How you made a difference; The 2017 Autumn Budget

Did it live up to its hype as “the housing budget”? Shelter is certainly pleased to see a number of positive commitments put forth to address the housing crisis and ensure more people can have access to a safe, secure and affordable home.

Our primary ask going into the Autumn Budget was for the government to lift the freeze on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) – a type of housing benefit people receive to cover their rent in the private rented … Read more

Yesterday's Budget: the good, the bad, the interesting

Like several recent Budgets, yesterday’s was billed as ‘a housing budget’. In the end, the reality didn’t quite match up to the claim, although it did include some genuinely positive steps forward. Once again we’re faced with a variety of changes, big and small; some that are definitely positive; some that are just a bit ‘meh’; and some that are hard to read, but might be a signal of truly exciting changes to come.

The good

As Kate’s blog sets Read more

Some welcome respite for housing benefit

Shelter’s main ask going into the Autumn Budget was for the government to lift the freeze to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) in order to stem the rise in homelessness seen in the private rented sector.

Local Housing Allowance – the type of housing benefit for private renters – has been cut every year since 2011. It has frequently been one of the first benefits in line when the Treasury has gone looking for Budget savings, and private renters have seen … Read more

Shandor
Shandor

Shandor’s Story Shandor was living in a one-bedroom house, which he’d made his own. But when he became disabled after an accident at work, he fell behind on rent payments and had to give notice to leave. He found a room to rent privately, which he shared with his read moreRead more

On Universal Credit, the government is ignoring the elephant in the room

As Philip Hammond prepares for this week’s Budget, it looks increasingly likely that he will concede on making some changes to Universal Credit (UC). Faced with opposition from his own backbenchers, who have challenged him with distressing tales from their constituencies, Mr Hammond may opt to reduce the six week waiting time for the benefit.

If so, it will be welcome. We have been calling for changes for long enough. Our frontline workers are seeing families reduced to destitution because … Read more

Smashing avocados, not the housebuilding targets

As was widely expected, today’s net additional housing supply figures showed an increase in the number of homes provided in England. A total of 217,350 ‘net additional dwellings’ were provided in 2016–17 in England, the highest figure since 2007–08 and the fourth year in a row that this measure has increased.

A small step

This is undoubtedly encouraging, as those new homes are urgently needed. Secretary of State Sajid Javid was well within his rights to herald the increase as … Read more

How Shelter's training session helped me influence my MP (Supporter blog)

Over the past few months we’ve been campaigning hard for an end to the freeze on Local Housing Allowance in the run up to the autumn budget announcement on November 22nd. Over 20,000 Shelter campaigners have signed our petition, 7,000 have emailed their MPs and 514 have tweeted their MP.

We recently ran a training session in London with some supporters on ‘How to meet and influence MPs’.

One supporter, Terry, took his campaigning to the next level and raised … Read more

We need to lower the cost of land to true market prices

After many decades of political obscurity, reforming the way that land is bought, sold and owned is back on the agenda. It’s about time too: the dysfunctional land market is at the heart of our broken housing market – and underpins the total failure to build enough high quality homes that people can actually afford. One thing we’re hoping for in next week’s budget is a sign that Downing Street is ready to overcome bureaucratic opposition to real reform.

Unrealistic Read more
Will the Budget finally begin to fix the broken housing market?

I don’t want to jinx it, but we’re increasingly excited about the prospects of a major housing announcement in the Budget later this month. The government has repeatedly signalled that fixing the housing crisis is the top domestic priority – and much of the pre-Budget jockeying and kite-flying has been around how to do that. Inevitably, some of the ideas being floated are better than others, so here’s a quick round-up.

What to expect

In the short run, low-income families … Read more