Housing’s big week: will the Rough Sleeping Strategy and Social Housing Green Paper deliver?
Housing’s big week: will the Rough Sleeping Strategy and Social Housing Green Paper deliver?

Last week was an important week for housing policy.

An important week for the thousands of men and women bedding down on our streets tonight; nearly 80,000 households going home to temporary accommodation; 1.2 million families waiting for their names to come to the top of the social housing waiting list and half a million social housing tenants without a decent home.

Rough sleeper strategy

On Monday, the Secretary of State published the Rough Sleeping Strategy, setting out the … Read more

What the introduction of estate regeneration ballots will mean for London
What the introduction of estate regeneration ballots will mean for London

Estate regeneration schemes proposing demolition have been politically controversial over the last decade. Now, the Mayor of London is attempting to address this issue through a new policy which will see some estate residents given the right to vote on whether demolish and rebuild schemes should go ahead. In this blog, we discuss which residents have been given a right to vote, which regeneration schemes are bound by the Mayor’s new policy, and what this policy development may mean for … Read more

We closed the viability loophole
We closed the viability loophole

New planning rules released yesterday signal the beginning of the end for the viability loophole. Developers will now find it harder to get out of building the affordable homes we desperately need. We explain how.

Over the last year, we’ve been raising a racket about viability assessments. Since 2012, the viability system has allowed big developers to shirk their affordable housing obligations if they can show that building low-cost homes on a scheme will threaten their ability to make … Read more

33,000 people had their say on social housing. Sixteen will ensure they're heard. One of them shares his view on how.
33,000 people had their say on social housing. Sixteen will ensure they're heard. One of them shares his view on how.

Guest blog by Rob Gershon 

I’ve just got home from the third meeting of the Shelter commission on the future of social housing, and I’m trying to sift through the information we’ve discussed today and my thoughts and feelings about it, so that I can try and summarise where the commission has come from, where it is, and where it might be going.

This isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. From the outset, the commission’s meetings haven’t been minuted … Read more

The roots of the rural housing crisis
The roots of the rural housing crisis

Have you heard about the housing crisis hollowing out the countryside? This week, for once, the answer to that question might just be “yes”. The National Housing Federation’s Rural Housing Week has shone a light on a problem that is poorly understood and rarely discussed with anything like the urgency it deserves.

A vicious chain reaction

In many rural communities, the market for housing has become divorced from local people and their incomes. Homes are sold for as much as … Read more

Why we need a bold new plan for social housing
Why we need a bold new plan for social housing

We’re just a few days from the one-year anniversary of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire, and many survivors are still waiting for a new home. It’s simply unacceptable – but it’s sadly no surprise when the situation is just as stark throughout the country.

Only 290,000 social homes were made available in 2016/17 – despite over one million households being on the waiting list. That’s a whopping shortfall of 800,000 homes. Why? A combination of much-needed social homes being sold … Read more

Grenfell: One year on
Grenfell: One year on

It’s been a year since 72 people tragically lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower Fire.

Since then, what progress has been made to support the survivors and make sure nothing like this ever happens again? I’m a Shelter housing advisor, and I’ve been working in the area since it happened – supporting many of those who were affected by the fire to find a new home.

Has everyone from the tower been rehoused?

Some 210 families who lived in … Read more

Government is leading by spending on cladding and banning combustibles
Government is leading by spending on cladding and banning combustibles

It has been a momentous week for everyone campaigning for improvements to building safety, following the Grenfell Tower fire.

By promising to ‘fully fund’ the removal and replacement of unsafe, Grenfell-style cladding – and suggesting it’s minded to ban combustible cladding systems – the government is set to fulfil two of our key campaigning asks. We look back at what exactly the government has committed to and why it’s so important.

Money to remove and replace cladding

Our campaign asked Read more

Pride versus stigma in social housing as the Big Conversation gets underway
Pride versus stigma in social housing as the Big Conversation gets underway

This week, the commissioners who are leading Shelter’s Big Conversation into the future of social housing met for the second time. They reviewed the evidence that’s begun to come in– including interim findings from interviews with social tenants – and started to sketch out the direction their recommendations will take.

It was a wide-ranging discussion and we’re excited about the ambition of the commissioners. They met with survivors and bereaved people from Grenfell earlier this month, and the message they … Read more

Exception sites are a lifeline for communities in need of affordable homes
Exception sites are a lifeline for communities in need of affordable homes

Here at Shelter, we’re all for getting more affordable homes built. It’s the only long-term, permanent fix to our housing and homelessness crisis. But in recent years, it hasn’t always felt like the planning system is on our side. Rules like the viability loophole have made it harder to get the affordable homes communities really need coming through the planning system. But there is one great, unsung hero of the planning system that has been steadily chipping away at the … Read more

Shelter launches call for evidence on social housing
Shelter launches call for evidence on social housing

In early March, we saw the first meeting of the commissioners who will be steering our Big Conversation looking at the future of social housing.

We’ve promised the commissioners that we’ll keep the content of their meetings confidential, so that they have the space to debate and deliberate. But suffice to say we were really pleased with the enthusiasm in the room.

We’ve deliberately drawn our commissioners from a broad range of political persuasions and backgrounds, but they all stressed … Read more

Facing up to defeat: why was social housing an easy target?

Housing campaigners need to acknowledge the uncomfortable quandary about the passing of the Housing and Planning Act. As we pointed out last week, despite near unprecedented concern in the Lords, the government ultimately felt comfortable enough to stand firm with its vision for social housing. It is a notable show of resolve in a year that has seen U-turns on everything from tax credits through academies to the Human Rights Act.

I think an anecdote from the start of … Read more