People on housing benefit are sick with worry – £10 a month is not going to change that
People on housing benefit are sick with worry – £10 a month is not going to change that

The freeze on housing benefit has been an unmitigated disaster. Private rents have risen while benefit rates stayed stuck, and people across the country are struggling to bridge the gap, leading to homelessness, debt, and poverty for many.

For years there has been every sign that politicians are happy to turn the other cheek while people on housing benefit are stressed, anxious, and sick with worry.

New research by Shelter shows the truly devastating impact the freeze is having on … Read more

Government's plan to raise LHA in line with inflation is nowhere near good enough
Government's plan to raise LHA in line with inflation is nowhere near good enough

Yesterday, the government announced how much housing benefits for private renters will be increased once the current benefits freeze finally ends. The news is not good.

In April 2020, Local Housing Allowance (LHA) – the housing benefit people receive for their private rental costs – will be raised in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which currently stands at a pitiful 1.7%. While any rise in benefit level is welcome, it is completely unacceptable to raise the LHA rates … Read more

Managing money: the importance of autonomy
Managing money: the importance of autonomy

From time to time, we all get into difficulty managing our money. A boiler breaking, a car needing repair, a bigger heating bill than expected. These things can hit us hard and always seem to be poorly timed, particularly if money is already tight. We all have different methods of coping, and different ways of ensuring we keep on top of all the other bills and rent. Some people try to manage by taking the hit in one go; whereas … Read more

General election 2019: A key moment to invest in local housing allowance
General election 2019: A key moment to invest in local housing allowance

For a long time, we’ve made a very clear argument that housing benefit for private renters, or local housing allowance (LHA), needs to be lifted up so that it covers the cost of renting.

LHA is now so far below the cost of renting in almost all areas of England that people are having to make impossible decisions about whether they cut back on food for their families or on heating their homes during winter.

This is why it’s incredibly … Read more

How renters could decide the next government
How renters could decide the next government

In April, the government made private renters the promise of a generation: to end section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions. This outdated law currently sees renters turfed out of their home with just eight weeks’ notice and for no good reason. It’s a major contributor to homelessness too. But six months on, as the battle over Brexit rages on, the government risks losing sight of the reasons for this ambitious change – and that will be at its own expense, as well … Read more

Building a more positive future: how Shelter works with former offenders
Building a more positive future: how Shelter works with former offenders

When Shelter was approached to deliver housing and debt advice for offenders and those leaving custody, we were especially keen to help.  

Offenders are often at risk of losing their tenancies when they enter custody, making it extremely difficult for them to resettle back into the community and build new lives for themselves upon their release. 

That’s why Shelter is working in prisons and in community locations across the North East and North West, delivering support on housing and debt to prisoners and former offenders. 

We work … Read more

Writing your will: FAQs
Writing your will: FAQs

Fiona Wilson

Leaving behind something for the people or causes you care about requires an up to date will. But why is it so important?

Fiona Wilson, a Partner at Hempsons Solicitors, shares an insider’s perspective. 

The importance of having a will 

‘If you had to give away everything you own today to your loved ones, you’d want to think carefully about how best to do this. The same is true after you die.  

‘If you want to … 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

Renters want rent control – and it’s not just about the money
Renters want rent control – and it’s not just about the money

There’s no doubt that private renters are being hit hard by the housing emergency. With rents on the rise and the prospect of eviction hanging over our heads, it’s no surprise there’s an appetite for something to be done. Are rent controls the answer? What do renters themselves think?

A new study by the Fabian Society gives an insight into what renters think about when we talk about controlling rents – and it isn’t necessarily what you’d think.

The study, … Read more

The five-week wait is five weeks too long
The five-week wait is five weeks too long

Yesterday, we published a report on how the people who use our services have been impacted by Universal Credit (UC). This highlights the issues the introduction of UC has caused, drawing on the voices and experiences of people affected, as well as in depth analysis of the data they have provided. Our findings have helped inform our key recommendations for moving forwards, so if the newly re-appointed Secretary of State for Department for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd, needs some … Read more

From the Frontline: the ongoing impact of welfare reform
From the Frontline: the ongoing impact of welfare reform

The consequences of the broken housing safety net are laid bare in our new report, From the Frontline. This shines a light on the thousands of people we help every year who are being pushed to the point of crisis due to the continued impact of welfare reform and the introduction of Universal Credit (UC).

The freeze to Local Housing Allowance (LHA), which is housing benefit for those renting privately, is forcing people to make the impossible choice between … Read more

One year of campaigning against DSS discrimination
One year of campaigning against DSS discrimination

August 2018 marked the launch of our DSS discrimination campaign. It’s an issue we were repeatedly seeing highlighted as one of the most consistent and pernicious problems our clients were encountering.

Our advisers spend hours every week desperately searching for properties within our clients’ price-range, only to then have the options reduced further or eliminated completely by ‘no DSS’ policies. Seeing this clause on adverts for privately rented properties means that if you receive some or all of your income … Read more