Grenfell: a home is more than a roof over your head

Whenever there’s a lot of media and public interest in people who are homeless, it’s important to stop and think what we mean by a home.

Homelessness often follows a period of personal trauma – the loss of a loved one, serious illness, the breakdown of a relationship, an escape from domestic abuse or violence, or the loss of a job and income.

These are all things that any of us need time and space to deal with emotionally and … Read more

Are some Conservatives softening on the housing benefit freeze?

Whisper it, but the government’s current freeze on housing benefit may be losing popularity among some in the Conservative Party.

Yesterday, the Spectator and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation jointly held an event in Westminster called The Conservative route to fighting poverty. As Shelter’s new report highlights, one of the key things increasing poverty and homelessness is the failure of housing benefit to keep up with private rents. Shelter advisers tell us it is increasingly difficult for low-income families to secure … Read more

Housing benefit: The black hole that continues to grow

Something deeply worrying has happened to our private rented market.

Since 2011, as benefits have been cut back, a black hole has started to appear in our welfare system for private renters. This black hole is the widening gap between housing benefit and rents at the very cheapest end of the private rental market. The black hole means rents become completely out of reach for anyone on low earnings. It means more people are made homeless, more children are stuck … Read more

Developers cannot be allowed to keep breaking their promises on affordable housing

In the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy, the priority is to find secure, affordable homes for survivors in their community, and make sure they have all the support they need to move forward with their lives. It is encouraging to see homes starting to come forward, with 68 affordable homes in Kensington allocated for survivors so far.

But these are not additional homes. They are pre-existing affordable blocks fast-tracked and reserved for Grenfell families. And so there is a broader … Read more

How Shelter is working at Grenfell to offer housing advice and assistance

Since the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower, Shelter’s staff have been working to help those affected and ensure that homeless families are rehoused swiftly in the local area. Our adviser Kristi has been working on the ground all week and shares her experiences below.

Housing Adviser Kristi

When you get near to Grenfell Tower and the surrounding area you see flowers and vigils lining the streets, posters of the people who are missing made by their families and classmates. So … Read more

Queen’s Speech 2017 – time to get our skates on when it comes to housing

Yesterday saw a thoroughly unusual State Opening of Parliament. Gone was the Queen’s traditional regalia and in was an informal (at least in relation to usual), parred down and thoroughly speedy affair.

One thing that never changes though is the ability of veteran Labour MP Denis Skinner to provide an unscripted piece of commentary – this year suggesting that it’s time to get the skates on, after all the Queen needed to be at Ascot for the first race.

Although … Read more

Housing and the 2017 election: what the numbers say

As the dust settles on the general elections results, attention has turned to trying to understand some of the demographic trends behind the results.

At Shelter, we’ve long had our eye on trends in housing tenure and how these might shape political outcomes. For context, mortgaged home ownership in England has fallen from 42% to 29% since 2000, while private renting has doubled in that time (to 20%).

We will publish more data as it becomes available in the coming … Read more

The need for answers in response to the Grenfell Tower

The devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in west London was a tragedy, and the fear is, an avoidable tragedy at that. Hundreds of people lived in the social housing block, which was managed by the council’s arms-length Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation. Residents have been left with nothing and hundreds are now homeless.

At present, we do not even know how many people have died, nor how the fire started and crucially why it spread so rapidly.

The prime … Read more

The election is over, the country has decided – what comes next for housing and homelessness

Yesterday Alok Sharma MP was announced as the latest Minister for Housing and Planning. Here at Shelter we congratulate him on his appointment to, arguably, one of the best briefs in government.

Tackling the housing crisis must be top of the list for the Housing Minister and his team and is one area with clear cross-party support. For generations now we have had an undersupply of new homes, particularly affordable homes, and it is leaving millions facing soaring private rents … Read more

How much are the homes from Location, Location, Location episode 1 worth now?
How much are the homes from Location, Location, Location episode 1 worth now?

It’s hard to believe that Kirstie and Phil started presenting Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location way back in May 2000.

The first episode is well-worth a watch. Watch it to chuckle at the dated fashions and dodgy camerawork, if you must. But the main attraction is, of course, how unbelievably cheap all the properties are.

So as an experiment we tracked them all down to find out how much they are worth now.

The results are mind-boggling.

Inflation, inflation, Read more