Guest blog: IPPR report on housing in Bradford

Too often reflections on our disparate housing market focus on a crude north-south divide, of rocketing house prices in the south, and decline in the north. Just a couple of weeks ago Shelter was campaigning in Liverpool, and our campaigns team heard from hundreds of the city’s residents just how awful their housing situation is. IPPR’s report on housing in Bradford shows just how complex a city’s housing can be, and we are pleased to feature a guest blog … Read more

A simpler benefits system – unless you're a social tenant

One of the Welfare Reform Act’s intentions, and one Shelter was happy to support, was a pledge to simplify the benefits system. In light of this it is surprising that one particular measure was allowed to survive the bill unscathed, despite being overturned twice by the Lords.

The Act will cut housing benefit for council and housing association tenants if they are judged to be occupying a larger property than they need. The definition of this is incredibly strict … Read more

Homelessness rise - shocking or predictable?

Yesterday’s homelessness statistics have confirmed what Shelter’s advisers have reported – more and more people are approaching their council for assistance because they can’t find anywhere affordable to live. Nationwide, the number of households accepted as entitled to assistance increased by 18 per cent last quarter compared to the same time the previous year. London has seen the sharpest increase in homelessness: a 36 per cent rise. But as this handy Guardian map shows it isn’t the only homelessness … Read more

Making sense of welfare reform - what does it mean?

Today the Welfare Reform Bill receives Royal Assent, almost 21 months since its measures were announced in the June 2010 Emergency Budget. Throughout, our top priority has been to ensure that housing benefit retained a link to the rents people actually pay. The power itself was buried in the middle of the bill as an opaque clause that gave the Secretary of State sweeping powers to change the way housing benefit is calculated.

Currently Local Housing Allowance – the housing … Read more

Victorian housing enjoys a renaissance

There’s a lot of neo-Victorianism around housing at the moment. It’s not just the Dickens bicentenary – although that has encouraged just about everyone to lever cheap literary references into the most improbable places.

The latest Survey of English Housing confirms that housing is trending towards the Victorian situation of more private renting and less homeownership. More and more families are now raising children in privately rented homes – something which almost died out in the late twentieth century. … Read more

Reflecting on the Welfare Reform Bill

The Welfare Reform Bill finally broke its parliamentary impasse this week, as peers failed to wrestle additional concessions out of the Government to protect tenants in social housing. Of all bills this parliamentary session, only those to enact fixed term parliaments and radically re-shape constituencies have caused more dispute; proof of both parliament’s love of introspection and the extent of opposition created by the bill.

The bill is one of the Government’s flagship pieces of legislation and the public – … Read more