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

Shelter Lancashire: our specialist debt and benefits advice service
Shelter Lancashire: our specialist debt and benefits advice service

Over the last few years, demand for housing advice has dramatically risen in Lancashire. Three years ago, Shelter’s Blackburn based service was seeing around eight people a day, now they see around 68 people a day. This year, on average, 10 people experiencing homelessness come to Shelter Lancashire every week looking for advice, compared to one or two in the years before.

We are currently the only housing specialist in Lancashire and we’ve only seen the hardships that people who … Read more

One paycheque away from losing their home
One paycheque away from losing their home

Every month is a struggle for mum of three Joanna. Despite working as a dinner lady at a local primary school, her paycheque is nowhere near enough to cover her rent and pay for food, bills, and all the other costs associated with supporting a family.

‘It’s a constant battle trying to make things work,’ Joanna tells Shelter. ‘When I go to the supermarket, the first place I’m looking is in the reduced section. This is normal to me. It’s … Read more

Will you keep a good thing going?
Will you keep a good thing going?

Paddy turned his life around, going from homelessness and addiction to working for Shelter. This happened because of Shelter’s peer mentoring programme. Now we need your help to keep a good thing going, by supporting this programme so that more people can help themselves to get off the street.

Paddy was living on the streets of Birmingham for five years and had a serious addiction to heroin and alcohol. Now he works for Shelter helping people with the problems he … Read more

Parents raising children in box containers shows the severity of the housing emergency
Parents raising children in box containers shows the severity of the housing emergency

A safe, secure, and affordable home is the basis of a good childhood. It’s a fundamental human need and that means it should be a right. But for tens of thousands of families across the country this right is denied, as the appalling human cost of our national housing emergency continues to grow.

At Shelter, our services hear all too often from people struggling at the sharp end of the housing crisis. Like the 18-month-old whose developmental milestones were not … Read more

If it is broke, it needs fixing
If it is broke, it needs fixing

Today sees the publication of the Children’s Commissioners’ report, Bleak House. It’s an upsetting exploration of the awful conditions that homeless families are having to endure, and highlights how broken our housing system truly is.

The report shows that temporary accommodation (TA) is rarely that at all; 40% of families stay in TA for over 6 months and 5% – that’s one in 20 families – end up in temporary accommodation continuously for a year or more. These are … Read more

Welfare safety net is broken, MPs find
Welfare safety net is broken, MPs find

‘As a nation, I believe we all want a decent safety net: if you’re facing a difficult moment in life, the state should be there to help you.’ – Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, 11 January 2019.

The government says it supports the welfare safety net – but is it still working? Back in December 2018, we submitted evidence to the parliamentary work and pensions committee’s inquiry into the welfare safety net. The … Read more

Happy 70th Birthday, Legal Aid!
Happy 70th Birthday, Legal Aid!

The aftermath of the Second World War saw the birth of our great welfare state. Four pillars provided the safety net people needed to ensure a minimum standard of living: decent and safe homes, healthcare for all, benefits for those struggling and education for children.

The unsung hero, which was never included in the welfare state’s four pillars, is legal aid, which celebrates its 70th birthday today.

While it may not feature in the top four, legal aid was, and … Read more

Supreme Court rules that subsistence benefits should not be used to cover rent shortfalls
Supreme Court rules that subsistence benefits should not be used to cover rent shortfalls

The Supreme Court has just given judgment in the case of Samuels v Birmingham City Council, where the court was asked to consider whether a home should have been considered affordable where the housing benefit did not meet the full rent.

This is an important test case, in which Shelter intervened. It will have major implications for local authority homelessness services and put further pressure on the government to increase Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates back to the bottom … Read more

Benefit cap: 'undoubtedly harsh' yet not unlawfully discriminatory
Benefit cap: 'undoubtedly harsh' yet not unlawfully discriminatory

Today, the Supreme Court has acknowledged that the household benefit cap is not achieving its stated aims and is inflicting poverty on people. However, the judges also declared (by a majority of 5-2) that the cap does not unlawfully discriminate against lone parents or breach the rights of their children.

The appeal this stems from was brought after the High Court found in 2017 that the cap unlawfully discriminated against lone parents with children under two – a decision that … Read more