Challenging DSS discrimination at NatWest
Challenging DSS discrimination at NatWest

For the last two months we’ve been leading the fight against ‘DSS discrimination’, where renters receiving housing benefit are unfairly banned from renting homes they could afford. This prejudice isn’t just wrong – we also think it’s unlawful.

The campaign kicked off with the results of our joint investigation with the National Housing Federation into housing benefit bans in the lettings industry. This suggested that several leading letting agents are turning people on benefits away.

We’ve written to the Read more

Laura is now in her forever home
Laura is now in her forever home

Laura’s mouldy council flat was putting her son’s life in danger until Shelter’s Hospital Discharge Team took on the family’s case. 

Imagine wanting to take your much-loved child home from hospital but being unable to do so as the conditions there would make him ill – or even endanger his life. That’s the horrible catch-22 that Laura faced until our hospital discharge team in Birmingham stepped in to help.  

When we first met Laura, she was living in a damp … Read more

Taking action against a rogue landlord
Taking action against a rogue landlord

Tom’s landlord was exploiting and abusing his vulnerable tenants. Tom, with Shelter’s help, took legal action. 

‘In December 2016, I moved into a new place. It was the kind of house that people move into when they’re desperate, the landlord knew it and he took advantage.  

The oven was leaking gas when I moved in. The landlord had blocked off the boiler so the tenants couldn’t turn on the heating and the shower had rotten floorboards under it; you could … Read more

The ‘Chance to Buy’ would provide little chance of a longer tenancy
The ‘Chance to Buy’ would provide little chance of a longer tenancy

Our friends at Onward have published a new proposal for how to help struggling private renters. The ‘Chance to Buy’, harks back to the Right to Buy in name as well as design. By offering a way for tenants to buy their existing home, it attempts to appeal to private tenants today in just the way Right to Buy has done for many social tenants since its introduction in 1981.

Without more analysis, it’s hard for us to comment on … Read more

What being a helpline adviser is really like
What being a helpline adviser is really like

Our helpline is vital for anyone who needs emergency housing advice, 365 days a year. Sharon, one of our expert advisers answers your questions.

Q: Who calls the helpline?

Anyone and everyone; people from every walk of life and across all generations.

Q: What do they call about?

It can vary seasonally. For example, during the winter months we have a lot of calls about damp and mould, boiler problems and general disrepair in rented properties.

Changes in legislation and … Read more

Every door closed to you, every avenue exhausted until you end up sleeping in your car
Every door closed to you, every avenue exhausted until you end up sleeping in your car

Join our campaign and stop this shocking discrimination against people on benefits from wrecking lives

Open discrimination against people on benefits is freely taking place up and down the country, in letting agent windows and online adverts. In ‘No DSS’, we have a sign that prejudice is rife in the housing market. And it’s destroying lives.

For private renters squeezed by low wages and high prices, ‘No DSS’ can be the final straw. Some landlords and letting agents won’t rent … Read more

Over a year since the Grenfell fire
Over a year since the Grenfell fire

Over a year later, we’re still supporting residents who survived the Grenfell Tower fire, and working to hold the authorities to account and leading the conversation on the future of social housing.

How we’ve helped

Immediately after the fire Shelter’s team of advisers, solicitors and volunteers offered expert housing advice and support. And we set up a new dedicated service.

We have so far helped 90 people from Grenfell Tower and 180 from the nearby community.

Stephanie, whose flat overlooks … Read more

The price households pay for poorly informed policy
The price households pay for poorly informed policy

The papers on housing affordability measures and their implications for policy released by UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Excellence (CaCHE) this week are an important contribution towards fixing the housing crisis. They highlight the inadequacies of how policy makers often conceive of affordability, and in turn how policy levers can be used to improve affordability.

The takeaway message from Professor Meen’s papers, as far as we’re concerned, is clear: the government needs to do a lot more work if they … Read more

How we improved our helpline to reach more people in urgent need
How we improved our helpline to reach more people in urgent need

The housing enquiries people come to us with vary from minor landlord disputes, to homeless families facing a night on the streets. That’s why we decided to examine how we could make sure our housing advisers help callers to our helpline who are in the most urgent need.  

This also gave us the opportunity to see how we could improve our self-help services – like our advice webpages – for users who don’t necessarily need to speak to an expert … Read more

Longer tenancies – what next?
Longer tenancies – what next?

On 26 August the government closed its consultation on three-year tenancies. Over the course of seven weeks, our supporters took advantage of a golden window of opportunity to make the case for more secure housing.

If longer tenancies became law, every renter in England would be better off. Renters would no longer live with the insecurity of being bounced from one house to the next on 6-12 month contracts. Instead they’d have the chance to make a house a homeRead more

Homelessness can happen so quickly – and to anyone
Homelessness can happen so quickly – and to anyone
Chris is a grafter. Always has been.

His painting and decorating business was what he loved and was a huge part of his identity. He always earned enough to be happy and never imagined he’d struggle to afford a home.

But one fateful day, he fell from a roof whilst finishing off the one last paint job of the day and his life turned upside down.

Chris woke up in hospital to find he’d sustained severe injuries including a broken … Read more

Why the government needs to change the law on longer tenancies
Why the government needs to change the law on longer tenancies

Guest blog from Mind

Shelter has recently been talking about why the government should change the law to give all renters longer tenancies. In this guest blog from Mind, Charlotte Furber, policy and campaigns assistant, tells us how living in unstable housing can have a negative impact on our mental health and why Mind is also calling on the government to change the law to address this instability.  

Housing is more than just a roof over your head. It’s about … Read more