Kate Webb
Kate Webb

By Kate Webb

Defending homeless families against illegal practice

Rising homelessness, a shortage of genuine affordable housing and housing benefits cuts are putting ever-greater pressure on local authorities to house homeless families. At Shelter we recognize the enormous pressure councils are under but cannot ignore that our legal team continue to see shocking examples of poor practice. Here, Jo Underwood, a solicitor with Shelter’s Children’s Legal Service, highlights her experiences. 

This year is the 50th anniversary of ‘Cathy Come Home,’ in which a young family finds themselves descending into … MORE...

Toby Lloyd
Toby Lloyd

By Toby Lloyd

Mayor and Chancellor strike a positive deal for London

In last week’s Autumn Statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced some very welcome increases in the affordable house building budget – as well as the great news that unfair letting agent fees would be banned. Funding programmes are always complicated things, covering several years and using multiple policy levers – such as direct grants, lending, loan guarantees, and use of public land. So it’s always important to look at the detail of how the headline numbers will actually … MORE...

Paul Donnelly
Paul Donnelly

By Paul Donnelly

The long road to shifting attitudes on welfare

There is little doubt that when it comes to the question of welfare the public aren’t exactly flag waving supporters. In fact, it’s fair to say, that the current debate is so negative the previous government felt empowered to freely slash welfare spending safe in the knowledge that to do so is widely, even a little wildly, popular; they quite legitimately said they were simply doing what voters wanted.

Even with new DWP supremo, Damian Green, striking a softer tone … MORE...

Liam Reynolds
Liam Reynolds

By Liam Reynolds

Letting agent fees ban is great news, but will it push up rents?

The forthcoming ban on letting fees is great news for England’s private renters. Renters have no real power to negotiate over fees and too many currently get stung with massive fees just to sign or renew a contract. This makes the impact of our unstable private rental market even worse.

But since the ban was announced there have already been claims that costs will just get shunted back onto tenants through rent increases.

This was also a hot topic when … MORE...

Kate Webb
Kate Webb

By Kate Webb

Government bans letting agency fees

The government will ban letting agency fees in the Autumn Statement. Shelter strongly welcomes the news as a bold step forward for renters.

Update: Renters have woken up to some rare and very welcome good news. The government is going to do the bold and just thing and ban letting agent fees to tenants.

Shelter has called for a ban on letting agent fees since 2013. We were moved to act after numerous people came to us outraged … MORE...