Slowly but surely, we're winning

The UK may still be in the grip of a housing crisis, but slowly things are changing.

Housing was fringe issue at the 2010 General Election, but by 2015 it was a top 4 concern. Shelter campaigned hard to push it up the political agenda, and now it’s here to stay, with politicians of all parties making big commitments on housing in 2017.

There are real opportunities for change, and we’ll be ready to make it happen. In the … Read more

Shelter's new scheme expects to provide lifeline for Bristol families

Shelter’s Bristol Hub is piloting a bond scheme in partnership with the Bristol Credit Union that gives homeless families the chance to access private rented sector (PRS) housing.  

These families remain trapped in temporary housing because of their financial difficulties and not being able to compete for PRS accommodation. With the upfront costs of private renting ever increasing, raising £2k for deposits and rent in order to move into the PRS is a hurdle these families are unable to overcome. … Read more

In the dark: Homelessness ordeal gets worse when councils don’t communicate

It is bad enough to be made homeless and living in cramped and insecure temporary accommodation. It is even worse to be moved into accommodation miles away from home and wrenched away from family, friends and schools. But if the local area where you were being moved didn’t even know were arriving?

 On Monday, the BBC reported that boroughs are failing to let other councils know when they have housed homeless people in their district.

At Shelter we already knowRead more

Priced out and p*ssed off: Britain's forgotten middle

Britain’s forgotten middle. The 1.3 million-strong private renters who continually struggle to pay their rent and have little hope of ever buying their own home. These ‘hard-pressed private renters’ increasingly turn up at Shelter’s doors, looking for support with their housing and paying their rent. They’re the families we’re suggesting a new generation of living rent homes should be built for – with rents pegged to lower rates of pay in any given area that enable hard-pressed renters to reach … Read more

Are private rents in England going up or down?

Some newspapers have got very excited recently about reports that private rents in England are dropping.

With many private renters struggling to make ends meet, anything that makes renting more affordable would be exceptionally welcome. But does this mean England’s affordability crisis is over? Unfortunately not.

Are private rents actually falling?

It depends who you believe…

Down: In April, estate agent group Countrywide reported that rents across Great Britain had fallen in the year to March 2017 by 0.3% Mixed:Read more
Want to improve health and social care? Address homelessness and bad housing

Health and social care is a hot topic in the upcoming general election. Lack of suitable housing options push up the costs of care.  For example, London Borough of Southwark calculates it’s spending over £7m a year (or 35% of the total budget for these services) to unnecessarily accommodate adults and children in residential or supported housing because they’re unable to find a suitable home to move into.  Last week saw the publication of two new reports showing the terrible … Read more

Compulsory purchase and council homes – a new direction for housing policy?

In the last few months an exciting shift has taken place in in the debate about housing, one underlined by this weekend’s commitments to new council house building and to reform of compulsory purchase order (CPO) legislation.

This announcement is a genuine break from the previous government’s reliance on private developers to deliver the homes that we need. It also demonstrates clearly that patience with the big developers is running thin – and the expectation that they will deliver has … Read more

Reflections on our campaign in Greater Manchester

You may have heard through our previous blogs that we’ve been campaigning hard – with the help of our brilliant supporters – to ensure that the new Mayor of Greater Manchester commits to fixing private renting.

The Thursday before last, the people of Greater Manchester took to the polls, and declared Andy Burnham was the person for the job.

Thanks to our supporters, he’ll enter office in the knowledge that nearly a thousand people have spoken out about the difficulties … Read more

Democracy on the doorstep: Housing questions to ask candidates who come a-knocking

With the general election less than a month away, parliamentary candidates up and down the country are currently engaged in a mad scramble to secure every vote possible. Leaflets are being delivered, ideas are being debated and, of course, doors are being knocked on.

Door-knocking is an integral part of any election campaign. Conversations on the doorstep give candidates the opportunity to hear first-hand the priorities and concerns of the people they are hoping to represent; it lets them know … Read more

Shelter’s general election call: help for the growing army of hard pressed private renters

Today Shelter has launched our campaign calling on the new government to deliver 500,000 homes in the next Parliament at ‘living rents’, a concept that has growing cross-party and cross-sector support.

There is coverage in The Sun and The Guardian, among others. Our short briefing is here, which we will be following up with a fuller investigation and report later in the year.

Why are we calling for this?

In part we’re trying to raise the alarm about … Read more

Rogue One: Government policies are forcing tenants onto bad landlords

Imagine living in a house without hot water and heating. Or with mouse infestations, broken appliances, damp and mould. These are some of the problems people coming to Shelter live with every day.

Thanks to Shelter’s campaigning, local authorities are clamping down on this behaviour. A Guardian investigation has named some of the most prosecuted landlords in Bristol. Some of the problems found mirror what we see on a daily basis: broken cookers and drains, cold, substandard or unlicensed homes. … Read more

Homelessness Reduction Act becomes law – now we need a cross-Government approach to make it work

Last week saw the Royal Assent of the first major piece of homelessness legislation for 15 years – the Homelessness Reduction Act. Likely to be implemented next year, the Act has the potential to transform the way homelessness services are delivered and ensure that all eligible applicants are given the help they need.  But it will take political will to tackle the drivers of homelessness.  In the run-up to the General Election, we’re calling on all parties to end … Read more