How a social home changed my life
How a social home changed my life

It’s unbelievable how many families are forced to rent privately because they can’t secure a social home and have no hope of buying. That’s exactly the situation I was in.

I spent over a decade privately renting a cottage for myself and my daughter. Every month was a struggle to cover the rent. I felt a lot of shame about that – like I was getting something wrong or should be coping better.

For the final few years we lived … Read more

Landlords for good
Landlords for good

Here at Shelter, we often hear from landlords who are making a positive difference in their tenants’ lives and playing a part in addressing the housing emergency. We wanted to celebrate these great landlords, who show that owning houses is about more than making profits – it’s about providing homes.

Alison’s story

I became a landlord at the age of 36 when I met my partner and together we bought a two-bed house in south London without selling the flat … Read more

Council housing is the bedrock of the future, not a relic of the past
Council housing is the bedrock of the future, not a relic of the past
Guest blog by John Boughton

Lloyd George never promised ‘Homes for Heroes’, and the 1919 Housing and Town Planning Act didn’t create the first ‘council’ housing. But, those two common misconceptions aside, it’s been a pleasure to see Christopher Addison’s flagship reform so widely celebrated on its centenary. And with good reason: 100 years on, there’s an urgent need to see a commitment to large-scale social housebuilding that matches the ambitions of 1919, to provide homes people desperately need. 

My … Read more

I’m a teacher, I’m a single mother, I have a sick son, and yet this is our only option
I’m a teacher, I’m a single mother, I have a sick son, and yet this is our only option

My name is Georgina, I’m 28 years old and I’m a secondary school maths teacher. I live with my three year old son in a one bedroom flat. 

Oliver is a very playful, inquisitive, boisterous toddler, who has a real zest for life.  He loves being outdoors. He has a real love of learning. He’s fantastic, he’s my little boy.

Oliver was diagnosed with a brain tumour 18 months ago. He has chemotherapy treatment every Monday.

I’m privately renting our … Read more

Land Reform: The key to better quality homes
Land Reform: The key to better quality homes
Guest blog by Julia Park, Levitt Bernstein

Almost everywhere in the country, the cost of the land needed to build a house is more than the cost of actually building it. And it shows.

Our speculative approach to development means that a bidding war is now the normal way to acquire land. The race to the top when it comes to buying a site perversely creates a race to the bottom when it comes to the end product.

Very little … Read more

We need to reform the 1961 Act to create places people love
We need to reform the 1961 Act to create places people love
Guest Blog – Will Tanner, Director of Onward

If you were to construct a system to maximise resentment towards new housebuilding, the British land system would probably come close.

For decades, new homes have been encouraged in places that communities are most likely to oppose development, in designs that jar with local styles, without proper consultation with communities, and with insufficient investment in the infrastructure that local people understandably expect alongside housing.

The root causes of undersupply are often thought … Read more

Increasing housing supply can improve living standards for the squeezed middle
Increasing housing supply can improve living standards for the squeezed middle
Guest Blog – Thomas Aubrey, Centre for Progressive Policy

Housing costs over the last 20 years have been a real drain on household incomes. Indeed, this rise in prices for renters and owner occupiers has been responsible for more than a third of the rise in overall living costs. House prices have increased in the last two decades at a much faster rate than earnings, resulting in the median house price to earnings ratio roughly doubling. But these costs have … Read more

WELLcome Home: giving patients somewhere to recover
WELLcome Home: giving patients somewhere to recover

Funded by the Big Lottery’s Help Through Crisis scheme and in partnership with Birmingham Mind, our WELLcome Home services provide outcome-focused support to individuals and their families. The aim is to help them reconnect to their accommodation and community after a stay as an inpatient. 

We’re fast approaching the service’s fourth year, so it feels like an appropriate time to share another success story.

Imagine not being able to take your baby home from hospital because you have nowhere to … Read more

London Renters Union: A campaigning union winning justice for renters
London Renters Union: A campaigning union winning justice for renters

Among a growing number of organisations campaigning for the rights of private renters is London Renters Union (LRU), a union for people who rent privately, and who work to support members from across the capital.

Like Shelter, LRU come across cases of DSS discrimination every day. In the guest blog written by one of their members, you’ll find just one story of how they helped a member facing this prejudice.

You can join the campaign to tackle this issue across Read more

My disabled daughter has had 14 different homes
My disabled daughter has had 14 different homes

I’m a single parent with three children. My 15 year old daughter Sasha is severely disabled. For the last 15 years I’ve been trying to secure her suitable accommodation – a property which is safe for her and gives her some independence through being adapted – but I’ve been unsuccessful.

We’ve also been constantly facing eviction from different private rental properties since 2016, for reasons that are out of our control. Last year we were living in a bungalow, and … Read more

How I challenged DSS discrimination
How I challenged DSS discrimination

A version of this blog was published on Huffington Post UK.

Guest blog by Philippa Lalor, a Shelter supporter and client

Almost one in three renters receiving housing benefit haven’t been able to apply for a place to live because of discriminatory ‘no DSS’ practices.

These range from a total ban on renting to people on benefits, to simply advertising a vast number of properties as ‘no DSS’.

As part of our campaign against DSS discrimination, Philippa successfully challenged discrimination … Read more

A two-pronged plan for better social housing
A two-pronged plan for better social housing

Guest blog by Rob Gershon, Housing Quality Network’s Residents’ Lead Associate

It might sound odd to say, but the Shelter commission was not a typical housing commission. It was made up of a diverse group of people from different backgrounds and perspectives, including politicians, tenants, community group activists (like me), but none from the traditional housing world.

The long and the short of the homebuilding bit of the report is that the commission agreed we needed more homes, … Read more