You just can't get the staff... High housing costs, recruitment and the impact on London business

The new business-led housing campaign Fifty Thousand Homes is striking not just due to the impressive number of CEOs they’ve signed up but because businesses are joining together to ask the question: where will ordinary working people live? Housing organisations across the board have long made the case that the construction sector is critical to UK plc. But what today’s campaign launch signals is that the impact of high housing costs on attracting workers is having a serious impact on … Read more

Healthy homes

It’s rare that there’s a clear and simple remedy for the problems we deal with on the front line at Shelter so when we find one we grasp it with both hands. Take carbon monoxide and smoke alarms -it’s a no brainer that they should be installed in every home. We see people being made sick, hospitalised or even dying as a result of monoxide poisoning, especially private renters. According to the Gas Safety Trust, renters are at least four … Read more

An open letter to the new housing minister and shadow minister

Shelter’s Chief Executive Campbell Robb welcomes Kris Hopkins MP and Emma Reynolds MP to their new roles…

 

Dear Minister and Shadow Minister,

Congratulations on getting the best jobs in government and opposition. Housing is now a top 5 issue among voters, higher than education, crime or Europe. From ‘generation rent’ shunted from one expensive, unstable let to another, to homeless families stuck in B&Bs, to parents struggling to fund their kids from the Bank of Mum and Dad, … Read more

Fitting the bill

No one applauds real commitment to help renting families more loudly than us. Labour’s proposal yesterday for a housing bill to tackle rip-off fees and poor standards and give renters more security ticks a lot of Shelter boxes. Coming on top of last year’s government pledges to clamp down on rogue landlords and this month’s new legislation on letting agents it’s more welcome evidence of an emerging political consensus  on the need to tackle problems in the private rented sector.… Read more

Into the mainstream: property taxation on the agenda

A key (and much trailed) feature of the Chancellor’s budget today was the introduction of higher stamp duty rates for properties worth more than £2 million. Let’s call it ‘mansion tax lite’. The coalition will also be clamping down on stamp duty avoidance, raising stamp duty even higher for foreign owners of high value homes, and consulting on an annual tax of 15% for certain ‘non-natural persons’ buying mansions. (Non-natural persons is a bit of a funny phrase, … Read more