General election 2019: Big changes coming in housing
General election 2019: Big changes coming in housing

It’s housing day in the general election campaign, but it’s not a normal election housing day. In all recent elections the housing policies of the major parties have been welcome but small reforms at best and actually destructive at worst. Now, with major commitments from the big parties, this election marks a sharp turn from the incremental to the transformational. Make no mistake, the plans laid out to build hundreds of thousands of new social homes are big, as are … Read more

Boris Johnson vs Jeremy Corbyn: But what about the housing emergency?
Boris Johnson vs Jeremy Corbyn: But what about the housing emergency?

Last night, we watched with bated breath as Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson went head-to-head in the first party leaders’ debate of the 2019 general election campaign.

We know we’re living through extraordinary times in terms of housing – although these extraordinary times have now gone on so long as to become depressingly usual in many ways. The emergency we’re facing affects us all. Whether that be directly or indirectly, the national failure that has resulted in a 22% increase … Read more

New builds? Don’t get me started
New builds? Don’t get me started

Last week saw the release of data on housebuilding, with some good news for once; a little over 214,000 new homes were built this year, and total supply – including conversions – is higher than it has been for decades; 241,000 in fact. Given government’s target is to reach 300,00 net additional dwellings annually by the middle of next decade; they and developers are celebrating.

But if you understand the housing market, you’ll be waiting for the fall – … 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

General Election 2019: why we can't let MPs forget housing
General Election 2019: why we can't let MPs forget housing

In the last year in England alone, a household became homeless every four minutes. In that same year, 692 rough sleepers died, again in England alone. That’s an increase of 22% on the previous year. Hundreds of people are dying on our streets, thousands are homeless and millions are at risk of losing their homes: this is the UK’s housing emergency. It must not slip off the agenda during this general election.

Earlier this month, the Queen’s Speech introduced her … Read more

Rising homelessness and struggling families: something has got to give
Rising homelessness and struggling families: something has got to give

In our last post, the challenges that private renters in receipt of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) face in finding an affordable and decent home were laid out. This inability to access housing they can afford means that many people are forced to accept large shortfalls between their LHA and their rent in order to find a home.

Our research has found that nearly 42% of non-working LHA households face a monthly shortfall of over £100. This is a significant … Read more

An end to no-fault evictions  –  what's next?
An end to no-fault evictions – what's next?

Over six months ago, the government promised to make renting fairer for everyone – they committed to scrapping section 21, ending no-fault evictions once and for all. This long-overdue reform will transform the lives of private renters, particularly those who are worst off, and rebalance the dysfunctional relationship too many landlords have with their tenants.

With a General Election looming, renters will be looking for manifesto commitments to end no-fault evictions from all major parties. For all the parties, the … Read more

No budget means no help for those facing homelessness
No budget means no help for those facing homelessness

With the budget on 6 November cancelled, the government have further delayed taking action to lift the benefit freeze and provide stability and certainty for many in need. The benefit freeze has left Local Housing Allowance (LHA), or housing benefit for those renting privately, completely unfit for purpose, and this is pushing many people into debt, poverty, and homelessness. People are struggling to pay their rent because the LHA rate does not cover modest rents in the vast majority … Read more

Older people are being let down by the housing system when they need it most
Older people are being let down by the housing system when they need it most

Imagine spending your seventies in a grim hostel room, sharing a bathroom and kitchen with strangers, not knowing if and when you’ll have to move somewhere new.  

Today is World Homeless Day, and a chance for us to reflect on homelessness in all its forms. While most of us are deeply concerned by the growing number of people sleeping rough on our streets, this is just tip of the iceberg of our growing emergency whose impact we are striving to understand, and whose impact on older people is particularly well hidden and rarely considered.  

Homelessness does not only happen to people … Read more

World Homeless Day: ending our housing emergency
World Homeless Day: ending our housing emergency

Raising awareness for World Homeless Day is something we shouldn’t have to be doing. However, with almost 280,000 people – 126,000 of who are children – currently recorded as homeless in England, it’s vital that we continue to mark this day.

Homelessness goes much deeper than rough sleeping, although this is the sharpest visible reminder of the problems that come from not having a stable home. But our country’s chronic lack of social housing and welfare reforms are driving up … Read more

Peer mentor Paddy’s success story
Peer mentor Paddy’s success story

If it wasn’t for Shelter and Colette I’d be dead. I’m so grateful.

It takes great spirit to go from living on the streets and struggling with addiction to becoming a peer mentor helping homeless people – but that’s exactly what Paddy has accomplished.

Like so many people who become homeless, Paddy was just unlucky. In the space of a year, his beloved nan died, he broke his leg, and the he lost his job. With nowhere to turn for … Read more

Taking the fight to end discrimination to Parliament
Taking the fight to end discrimination to Parliament

In the 1950s you were allowed to put up signs saying, “no blacks, no Irish, no dogs”. Nowadays, you’re allowed to put up “no DSS”. At what point did we decide as a country that this is ok? – Philippa Lalor

This year, we’ve made significant progress in our campaign to stamp out DSS discrimination against renters on benefits. And now, thanks to your help, we’re another step closer to achieving an overall victory. 

After months of campaigning, Shelter were invited to a Select Committee hearing in April to share … Read more