Behind the scenes at Shelter’s helpline
Behind the scenes at Shelter’s helpline
Guest blog by Nicola, a Shelter supporter

A few weeks ago, it was my privilege to be invited to visit the Shelter helpline facility in Sheffield. I drove over the Pennines on the most brilliant, clear day, and although I was really looking forward to the experience, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve supported Shelter for many years and feel deeply for the many individuals and families who find themselves homeless or facing a housing emergency. However, I … Read more

David Davis calls on the chancellor to build more social housing
David Davis calls on the chancellor to build more social housing
Guest blog by David Davis MP

David Davis has brought together politicians from across the Conservative Party to call on the chancellor to invest in social housing at the upcoming budget. This is another clear example of the growing cross-party consensus on the issue, and an important milestone. The letter appeared exclusively in The Sun on the 9th of March along with the following piece by David Davis where he makes his case for social housing to the government. 

Although … Read more

Trapped in an abusive relationship: how the housing emergency prevented me from leaving
Trapped in an abusive relationship: how the housing emergency prevented me from leaving

Here is one woman’s experience about how the housing emergency made it difficult for her to escape an abusive relationship. This is a real story, but models have been used to protect the privacy of our clients.

The father of my two children was very abusive, both emotionally and physically. He was very manipulative, and I was dependent on him emotionally. I was a lot younger than him.

After a few years in this situation, I got up the strength … Read more

No DSS: Amanda's story
No DSS: Amanda's story

Discrimination against renters receiving housing benefit is rife. These so-called ‘No DSS’ policies are unfairly locking hundreds of thousands of people out of homes they could otherwise afford, often pushing them closer to homelessness.

We’re campaigning hard to end this discrimination, but we couldn’t do it without our supporters. That’s people like Amanda, who tells her story below and who joined the campaign after challenging – and ultimately winning against – the DSS discrimination she faced first-hand.

I wanted to share my … Read more

Two easy ways to avoid a £13,000 bill
Two easy ways to avoid a £13,000 bill
Guest blog by Helena McAleer, Landlord

So, your letting agent told you renting your property to people on DSS is a bad idea?

If your letting agent has advised you against letting your property to a claimant of housing benefit, then they are wrong. This is discrimination and it’s illegal. In court, the responsibility falls at the feet of the landlord, who, as recent cases show, could be on the receiving end of an eye-watering £13,000 bill.

I’d encourage you … Read more

Swinton MD takes on Kilimanjaro for Shelter
Swinton MD takes on Kilimanjaro for Shelter

In early 2018, Swinton Insurance announced a partnership with Shelter, their ambition being to generate funds and raise awareness around poor-quality homes, the housing shortage, and homelessness across the country.

With plans for a series of fundraising events for colleagues and customers, Swinton committed to raising £50,000 by April 2020 – and we’re delighted to say they’re already just a few pounds away from reaching that target! People all across the company have taken on challenges like the London Marathon, … Read more

It’s time to fix Britain’s housing crisis at its roots: land
It’s time to fix Britain’s housing crisis at its roots: land
Guest blog by Alastair Parvin, CEO of Open System Lab

Let’s do a thought experiment.

Imagine that the UK was restricted to only one web domain address for every person. Enough for everyone to have one each, but only just. Every year, in order to keep up with population growth, the government issues a few thousand new ones for a notional fee of £462 each. Some addresses get much better download speeds than others, but they all get issued for … Read more

Sireena's story
Sireena's story

My son amazes me every day. He works so hard at school, he’s an A-star student. He never lets our home life get him down and it breaks my heart because there’s very little I can do to change things right now. This Christmas will be just like the last – cold, damp and difficult. I’ll make it as good as I can for us, but when you’re living in a cramped, temporary place, doing whatever you can to keep … Read more

Building successful and sustainable neighbourhoods
Building successful and sustainable neighbourhoods
Guest blog by Jo McCafferty, Levitt Bernstein

Following the announcement that Goldsmith Street, a social housing project in Norwich, is this year’s well-deserved winner of both the Stirling Prize and the inaugural RIBA Neave Brown Prize for Housing, there’s been a flurry of articles in the press.

Many of these pieces congratulate the skills and tenacity of the architects – Mikhail Riches and Cathy Hawley – and the bravery and vision of their client, Norwich City Council. Some predict a … Read more

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