Tax breaks for longer tenancies – spending big for a two-tier system
Tax breaks for longer tenancies – spending big for a two-tier system

The government is consulting on introducing longer tenancies for private renters. Great news! But despite an announcement that the Secretary of State backs changing the law, there’s still a question about whether the government will follow through. New tax incentives and ‘better education’ are still officially under consideration alongside legal change.

It’s clear to us that anything less than legal change to give all private tenants more security by default isn’t meaningful change at all.

In this … Read more

Housing’s big week: will the Rough Sleeping Strategy and Social Housing Green Paper deliver?
Housing’s big week: will the Rough Sleeping Strategy and Social Housing Green Paper deliver?

Last week was an important week for housing policy.

An important week for the thousands of men and women bedding down on our streets tonight; nearly 80,000 households going home to temporary accommodation; 1.2 million families waiting for their names to come to the top of the social housing waiting list and half a million social housing tenants without a decent home.

Rough sleeper strategy

On Monday, the Secretary of State published the Rough Sleeping Strategy, setting out the … Read more

Private renting is broken. Now's our chance to fix it.
Private renting is broken. Now's our chance to fix it.

The government has proposed giving private renters more protections by changing the minimum length of tenancies to three years, and they’re running a consultation until 26 August. Shelter has a campaign to help renters feed into the consultation. Greg Beales, Shelter’s Director of Communications, Policy & Campaigns, explains the importance of this opportunity.

We are all familiar with the idea there is a housing crisis, but seeing the human and social cost of it can still shock you. And … Read more

Flatlining wages, surging rents and a national affordability crisis.
Flatlining wages, surging rents and a national affordability crisis.

Rents have surged ahead of wage growth in this decade.

Our analysis of government statistics shows that between 2011 and 2017 rents in England have grown 60% quicker than wages. Rents have increased by 16% while average wages have increased by just 10%[1].

And this isn’t just an issue confined to London and the south-east, as you might expect. This analysis confirms that rental markets in England’s suburbs, market towns and smaller cities are heating up.

This issue … Read more

In work – but out of a home
In work – but out of a home

60,852 families are currently homeless in England. But, we don’t know much about their lives, and what could be causing them to be unable to find a safe, stable, affordable home.

With limited information, stereotypes abound, and solutions to homelessness seem intractable and unclear.

But we have found an alternative government dataset that gives more insight on homeless families. Today, Shelter’s social housing commission are publishing brand new analysis of government benefit data, that reveals the proportion of homeless families … Read more

Grey renting: the rising tide of older private tenants
Grey renting: the rising tide of older private tenants

The number of private renters has skyrocketed over the last 20 years. In total it’s more than doubled, from just over 2 million private renting households in 1996/97 to almost 4.7 million in 2016/17.

This growth hasn’t been uniform across the age groups, though. It’s been much slower amongst older renters, with households headed by someone aged 65+ growing by only 40% compared to 144% amongst younger households.

However, new statistics from the most recent edition of the government’s English Read more

Keep up the pressure - help ban combustible cladding
Keep up the pressure - help ban combustible cladding

After the Grenfell Tower fire, it was clear that more had to be done to make people’s homes safe.

So far, campaigners, politicians and health and safety experts have been alarmed at the slow progress government has made in making tower blocks safe.

A hollow victory?

In May, after months of campaigning, we had our first breakthrough: the government promised an ‘estimated £400 million’ to fully fund the removal and replacement of cladding on socially owned tower blocks.

While at … Read more

Is Universal Credit ready for an expansion?
Is Universal Credit ready for an expansion?

Universal Credit (UC) recently made the headlines for the wrong reasons. Esther McVey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, came to parliament to correct her statement regarding the National Audit Office’s (NAO) recent report on the government’s flagship benefit. The NAO’s report found that UC is not value for money, and it has significant doubt about its main benefits.

Managed migration makes the problems more immediate

The report’s conclusions became immediate in the last couple of weeks, as plans have been … Read more

What does the government’s longer tenancies announcement mean? (part 2)
What does the government’s longer tenancies announcement mean? (part 2)

The government has announced plans to give private renters longer tenancies. Great news! But as ever, the devil is in the detail.

This is the second of two posts picking through the minutiae of the proposal being consulted on, and looks at how the government plans to implement the changes.

The first part looked at what the government’s new model for renting would be, and found that while it’s a great step forward, there is more work to do.… Read more

There’s a rentquake in English market towns, and we’ve barely noticed
There’s a rentquake in English market towns, and we’ve barely noticed

Our new analysis sheds light on the ‘rentquake’ which has taken place across England since the start of the millennium. It shows that a growing proportion of people across all corners of our country are privately renting. While homeownership remains the preferred tenure for many, it has become ever more out of reach – and our stock of social housing has declined.

This is important because, right now, the loss of a privately rented tenancy is the number one cause … Read more

What does the government’s longer tenancies announcement mean? (part 1)
What does the government’s longer tenancies announcement mean? (part 1)

After news coverage suggesting the government plans to introduce longer tenancies in the private rented sector, the consultation has come out with full details.

For years, we have been campaigning to increase the protection private tenants have from no-fault eviction. With more households becoming homeless after being evicted from a privately rented home than for any other reason, new safeguards are long overdue. So, with legal change on the cards, this is a major step in the right direction.

As … Read more

The full extent of the homelessness crisis
The full extent of the homelessness crisis
New homelessness figures

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) recently released new figures on homelessness, marking the last release of the current version of the homelessness statistics. With the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act in April 2018, the information local authorities collect about households, and the way this information is presented, will change.

The current statistics are the most important source of information about households and families found to be homeless. They tell us what kinds … Read more