Making Fair Rent Homes a reality

The need for a new wave of Fair Rent Homes is clear. But how do we build them? And where is the money coming from?

The financing of new affordable homes has becoming increasingly complex. Prior to 2010, significant levels of grant and long-term bank loans could be combined to provide genuinely affordable, social rent homes. However, with the arrival of the Coalition government and a 60% cut in the grant available for affordable housing, housing providers had to … Read more

The loss of our low rent homes

At Shelter we have tried to estimate the impact that the some of the Government’s housing policies might have on genuinely affordable homes in the future, which will affect the 1.4 million households waiting to be housed in the social rented sector. It is challenging to predict the impact of such far-reaching policies, but by looking at both present circumstances and what has happened in the past, we have been able to estimate the effect of three policies which we … Read more

House prices to rise by a third – why planning reforms must deliver more affordable housing

Today the Chancellor announced some pretty major planning reforms. The acknowledgement that we’re simply not building enough homes, and the stated aim of getting Britain building again, are both welcome – and things we’ve long been calling for.

The package of reforms offers a genuine opportunity to really start to address the housing crisis. But it remains to be seen how affordable these homes will be. Worryingly, some of the reforms could actually reduce the number of affordable homes … Read more

There are other options to balance the books besides cutting our safety net

Today the Chancellor is set to unveil up to £12 billion of the cuts in welfare that he the first committed to a year and a half ago. We won’t know for sure what the cuts will look like until they’re announced this afternoon. What we do know is that if housing benefit is badly hit, as has been suggested, it will have dramatic consequences for millions of households across the country.

But cutting our safety net isn’t the … Read more

The million homes that never were

A million homes – it sounds like a lot. That’s because it is. We could have built them too, but we didn’t.

We’ve presented the case before of the impact of government spending shifting from supply to demand, from bricks to benefits, and the impact that this has had on the housing benefit bill. But how many homes were never built because of this shift? That’s a question that we’ve tried to answer.

In the early 1980s, public investment … Read more

Are you afraid that you could lose your home? You’re not alone.

Every day, Shelter hears from people facing the prospect of losing their home.

Last year alone, 360,000 people visited our website, seeking out advice on how to deal with repossession and eviction, representing a 23% increase in visits compared to the year before.

Government statistics released by the Ministry of Justice back up this picture. In 2014-15, there were over 180,000 claims lodged in the court system to evict households.

That’s over 180,000 letters from the courts sent to households … Read more

Time for the Bank of England to join the macroprudential party

Last month the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced new measures to limit lending to investors. If you’re wondering what New Zealand has to do with the housing crisis in England, keep reading and it will become clear…

Here are some snippets from the statement by the RBNZ.

New Zealand’s financial system is sound and operating effectively, but faces significant risks, Reserve Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler, said today when releasing the Bank’s May Financial Stability Report.

 “Auckland’s median house … Read more

The government can cut less than £12 billion from benefits – and still meet its welfare target

The impact of the cuts already made by the Coalition Government has been severe. And the government has pledged to make a further £12 billion reduction in welfare spending by 2017-18. But the task of making these cuts has got a whole lot harder since it was announced, because some savings have already been realised, even before any cuts are made.

Because inflation is lower than expected, welfare spending will also be lower than previously expected. This means the £12 … Read more

We’re well on the way to becoming a nation of renters

The housing crisis affects people in many ways, but one of the most obvious shifts we’ve seen is the number of us who can’t afford a home of our own. The large deposits required to buy are only a pipe dream, whilst we live in the expensive private rented sector, or stick at home with our parents. The impacts hit hardest for younger people.

We’ve seen a dramatic decline in home ownership for 25-34 year olds over the past decade, … Read more

Freedom of choice lacking for first time buyers

A huge symptom of the broken housing market is a lack of choice. Whether it is the long waiting lists that exist for social housing; the poor conditions and lack of security whilst living in the private rented sector; or the sky high house prices when looking to buy a home of your own, for ordinary people, choices are limited.

We’ve found just how limited the choices are for those looking to buy their first home. Even for those able … Read more

Wage against the machine – the tale of the first time buyer

We all know that there is a housing crisis in England, that we aren’t building enough homes, that house prices are expensive, and that it’s difficult and costly for first time buyers to realise the dream of owning their own home.

But exactly how expensive are house prices now for first time buyers? It can be a difficult question to answer, but we’ve calculated that the average house price in England is £76,873 or 38.8% more than it should be. Read more

Right to Buy – 1 step forward, 10 steps back

The Right to Buy is definitely a policy that causes mixed feelings. What its supporters like about RTB is that it helps people who are socially renting into home ownership by providing them with a substantial discount to purchase the property – thus meeting the social aspiration of tenants to own their own home, and providing them with an asset to help secure their future.

But unfortunately it has other negative impacts. A consequence of RTB is that when a … Read more