A rent cap in name only

This blog was originally published as part of #BeyondtheBallot the Huffington Post UK’s alternative take on the UK General Election 2015. Visit the website to see the original post and join the debate.

A year ago to the day, Ed Miliband announced that a future Labour Government will legislate to make long-term tenancies the legal default. After calling for stable renting since 2012, Shelter welcomed this turning point.

On Sunday, this was repackaged a ‘cap on rents’.

Cue hysteria. … Read more

37 days to win the election; 100 days to make it count

Yesterday, the General Election 2015 officially launched.

Over the next 37 days we can expect plenty of bold statements, lots of partisan accusations and endless footage of battle buses and rolled-up sleeves. The fight to win over the UK’s 42 million voters is well and truly on.

If politicians are clever, they’ll talk about fixing our housing crisis. Voters in the marginal seats – those key seats that will decide the outcome of the general election – are more likely … Read more

A year to change the law

Two weeks ago, the Prime Minister gave a speech about housing. You may have noticed that Shelter had a lot of opinions about that speech…

But amidst the detail on Starter Homes, David Cameron proudly announced that his government are putting an end to revenge eviction:

“What’s more, we are outlawing ‘retaliatory evictions’, so tenants don’t face the prospect of losing their home simply for asking that repairs be made.”

And today, they did just that. The Deregulation BillRead more

The politics of rent control

A debate is taking place about whether we should control – or cap – private rents in London.

With the 2016 Mayoral Election edging closer, this debate is heating up. Anyone throwing their hat into the ring is taking a view.

Shelter are currently looking at the technical implications of capping or controlling rents. But we also need to understand the political implications of this very public debate.

It is little wonder that renting dominates our capital’s discourse. The … Read more

Is stable renting the future?

This morning Ed Miliband announced that, if a Labour Government is elected in 2015, they will legislate to make long-term tenancies the legal default. This follows the Government’s promise last October to produce a model ‘Family Friendly Tenancy’ and to encourage stable renting through their ‘How to Rent’ guide.

Labour’s default offers longer tenancies that limit rental increases and retain flexibility for renters. This is what Shelter has been calling for since September 2012, which is why we hope Read more

Private renting, a turning point

Tomorrow Ed Miliband will announce that, if a Labour Government is elected in 2015, they will legislate to make long-term tenancies the legal default and ban letting agents from charging fees to tenants.

This commitment to stable, affordable renting is a major turning point for England’s 9 million renters and something that Shelter has been campaigning for since 2012.

It follows the Government’s promise last October to do what it can to end the practice of retaliatory eviction.  … Read more

A mixed bag

David Cameron opened his Conservative Party Conference speech with the promise of home ownership.

“This week in Manchester we’ve shown this Party is on the side of hardworking people. Helping young people buy their own home.”

The rhetoric is right. And it is fantastic to see all three party leaders recognising the urgent need to tackle our housing crisis. Unfortunately, we still cannot agree with the Government’s proposed solution.

Cameron used the Conference to accelerate the Help to Buy scheme. … Read more

Housing takes centre stage

‘[This] country desperately needs a delivery of homes…’

Spoken by Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation, and Skills during his platform speech at this year’s Liberal Democrat Party Conference.

After a wet and windy three days in Glasgow it’s clear: housing the next generation is on everyone’s mind. The Liberal Democrats, both members and Ministers, genuinely do want to ‘own housing at the next general election’.  However, what this ownership will look like is still all … Read more

Guest blog: Housing at highest level of voter concern in 5 years

We’ve been saying for a while now that housing is bubbling up as a key issue for voters, and that England’s housing shortage is now a crisis affecting broad swathes of the voting population. Shelter’s report Homes for forgotten families published last week shows just how expensive it is for low to middle income families to afford a family home in their area.

New polling by Ipsos MORI last week seems to confirm how concerned people in England are about … Read more

Politics and tenure: the state of play

Whatever your views on it as a policy, the electoral success of Margaret Thatcher’s ‘Right to Buy’ policy showed one thing at least: the way to voter’s hearts is very often through their home. A strong offer on housing can play a big role in parties showing they understand voter’s lives, needs and aspirations.

Which is why as the housing market changes and the private rented sector expands significantly (particularly in swing areas), it’s interesting to view which of … Read more

Guest blog: Mid-term (tenure) blues

We’re always fascinated to see how the kind of housing people have relates to their voting intentions. It’s great to have Ben Marshall, from the pollsters Ipsos MORI, blogging here on their latest analysis.

One stat really jumps out for me: that 62% of renters voted for coalition parties in 2010, but only 37% would now. Not surprising then that Ed Miliband announced a suite of policies for private renters on Saturday. If ever there was a reason for … Read more

Right to Buy: has its moment passed?

Was the Right to Buy the most politically savvy housing policy in recent decades? It tapped into the public mood – shifting towards aspiration – and allowed a substantial number of low and middle income households to realise that aspiration very quickly by offering substantial discounts when they bought their home.

In just five years, more than a million people bought their council houses, my grandparents among them.

Whether or not you agree with the policy of selling off council … Read more