Spring Statement: the housing announcements you weren’t supposed to see
Spring Statement: the housing announcements you weren’t supposed to see

Last week’s Spring Statement didn’t deliver much for housing.

The Chancellor’s announcement that £3 billion worth of government guarantees for loans to build 30,000 ‘affordable’ homes received plenty of positive coverage. But truly affordable social homes can’t be built on borrowing alone.

Government guarantees won’t go very far towards a solution for our housing crisis unless cheaper borrowing is accompanied by serious investment in capital grants for social housing at the next spending review (which we called for at the launch Read more

Grenfell: Ministers can and must regulate to protect social tenants
Grenfell: Ministers can and must regulate to protect social tenants

Today marks 21 long months since the devastating fire in Grenfell Tower – the biggest housing tragedy in our history.

Yet still, we await the government’s new deal on social housing. It’s been seven months since they acknowledged there was a powerful case for strengthening regulation, to make sure it focuses not just on the governance and financial viability of housing associations, but also on how residents are treated and the level of service they should expect.

12 months after … 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

Office to residential conversions under permitted development rights
Office to residential conversions under permitted development rights

Guest blog by Julia Park, Levitt Bernstein

If there are people who are ideologically opposed to the conversion of redundant office buildings to residential use, I’ve yet to meet them. The idea of adapting buildings that are no longer needed (or no longer fit) for their original purpose to a suitable alternative use is nothing new – and makes perfect sense. And it’s even better if that alternative use is housing, given the numbers we need.

That was undoubtedly part … Read more

The future of social housing – what’s next?
The future of social housing – what’s next?

Last week we launched the final report of our commission on the future of social housing. I joined Shelter midway through the project. I was amazed to see the huge ambition and hard work our 16 independent commissioners and the team here put into it.

It’s also been great to see a sector work together so well. There has been a growing push for more social housing recently, from charities, the public, and industry bodies.

But we … Read more

Raynsford Review calls for ambitious planning reform
Raynsford Review calls for ambitious planning reform
What is the Raynsford Review?

Earlier this month, the Raynsford Review of Planning was released by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA). This review, chaired by former planning minister Nick Raynsford, was given the crucial task of examining the state of the planning system in England, recommending how it can be transformed to deliver the homes, infrastructure and places our communities need.

Shelter fights for the provision of high-quality, genuinely affordable homes across the country, in particular social-rented homes. … Read more

No more social housing get-out clauses
No more social housing get-out clauses

As the Autumn budget announcements were only beginning to be digested a few weeks ago, the government released a consultation that contained substantial and largely troubling proposals for the future supply of social housing.

The consultation proposes a range of ideas to reform planning rules, including a welcome proposal to give councils more freedom over how they use their own land. This would allow councils to hold onto their land and use it to build desperately-needed social homes, where the … Read more

Letwin identifies the problem but misses the solution
Letwin identifies the problem but misses the solution

One thing that probably won’t feature in today’s post-Budget headlines is the result of the Independent Review of Build Out undertaken by Sir Oliver Letwin.

While the report might not provide headlines, it does deserve recognition because it taps into a singularly vital part of our housing crisis: the cost of land. This means Letwin joins a growing group who recognise that only by bringing land into development at lower values can we unlock better, faster, more affordable development.

This … Read more

The cap is scrapped! Where next for council housebuilding?
The cap is scrapped! Where next for council housebuilding?

Last year, Theresa May used her speech at Conservative Party Conference to announce £2bn of new grant funding – the first money made available for building social homes since 2010.

Two weeks ago, the prime minister used a speech at the National Housing Federation’s annual summit to announce another £2bn of long-term funding for housing associations. At the time, we asked ‘Is Theresa May getting serious about social housing?’, taking stock of the many small actions May’s governments … Read more

Six take aways from our polling in marginal seats
Six take aways from our polling in marginal seats

With party conference season in full swing, we have today published the results of some polling with marginal voters. Conducted for us by respected pollster Matt Singh of Number Cruncher Politics (NCP), and covered by The Sun this morning, to our knowledge this is the first such public poll of voters in swing seats in a while.

Matt’s take is here.

First, a quick note on methodology: it’s an online poll across 60 Conservative or Labour held seats … Read more

Is the tide turning for social housing?
Is the tide turning for social housing?

Theresa May has often said fixing the housing crisis is her top domestic priority – no small feat for a government also tasked with delivering Brexit on a razor-thin majority. Some governments might have been tempted to leave housing in the ‘too difficult’ box, where it has been gathering dust for years.

But while we have yet to see the fundamental reforms and significant uptick in investment needed to get the country building genuinely affordable homes at scale again, May’s … Read more

London Mayor announces plans to boost affordable housing in Olympic Park
London Mayor announces plans to boost affordable housing in Olympic Park

Earlier this month, Sadiq Khan announced that 3,000 new homes will be developed across three new neighbourhoods in London’s Olympic Park. London’s Mayor intends for 50% of these new homes to be affordable.

In light of this announcement, we take a closer look at the record of affordable housing planning in Olympic Park, and consider what Khan’s announcement may mean for the thousands of households in need of social housing in boroughs near the Park.

Who was meant to benefit Read more