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Shelter Birmingham's specialist domestic abuse service
Shelter Birmingham's specialist domestic abuse service

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, or have recently left an abusive relationship, you can get in touch with Shelter in Birmingham for free, floating support.

Everything is confidential. We can talk to you about what support you feel you need, and assist you to find and feel safe in a new home.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse can take many forms. It might mean your partner is controlling you, controlling your access to money, or that your partner … Read more

Quality versus quantity: are permitted development rights really the answer to the housing crisis?
Quality versus quantity: are permitted development rights really the answer to the housing crisis?

All too often life is turned into a numbers game – and housing is no exception. The government has committed to building 300,000 homes per year by the mid-2020s, but what we build and how we do it should not be overlooked.

At the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Annual Conference, Theresa May called for new regulations to improve the design and quality of buildings in order to prevent tiny, poor quality homes from being developed.

This is all well and … Read more

Shelter’s prescription to end the housing emergency
Shelter’s prescription to end the housing emergency

Building social housing is the only effective, long-term cure for the housing crisis. That’s why last week we joined with the National Housing Federation, Crisis, the Chartered Institute for Housing and the Campaign to Protect Rural England to fight for the homes we need: a funded programme of 150,000 social and affordable homes a year. From this Saturday, Shelter will be taking to the streets to ask you to add your support to our campaign, starting with our first … Read more

How co-production creates opportunities for all
How co-production creates opportunities for all

Co-production brings people who use services together with the organisations that provide those services to shape how they should be delivered. It’s valuable both for organisations and for the people who use its services – and that’s why at Inspiring Change Manchester (ICM), it’s at the heart how we operate.

A few years ago, the word co-production might’ve been mentioned in passing. Services and organisations might have put some service user representation on panels at events or may have asked … Read more

Land Reform: The key to better quality homes
Land Reform: The key to better quality homes
Guest blog by Julia Park, Levitt Bernstein

Almost everywhere in the country, the cost of the land needed to build a house is more than the cost of actually building it. And it shows.

Our speculative approach to development means that a bidding war is now the normal way to acquire land. The race to the top when it comes to buying a site perversely creates a race to the bottom when it comes to the end product.

Very little … Read more

DSS discrimination means renters are punished for their circumstances
DSS discrimination means renters are punished for their circumstances

Kyrstyna and her husband, Geoff, had been homeowners. But when they lost their jobs due to redundancy, they were forced to go back to renting privately in their 50s.

Finding somewhere to rent was tough. Like many people receiving housing benefit, Krystyna and Geoff faced DSS discrimination and struggled to find a place to live. In the end, they were forced to move all the way from the West Midlands to Cornwall just to find somewhere that would accept them … Read more

Theft or freedom? Land reform for the right as well as the left
Theft or freedom? Land reform for the right as well as the left

The start of this month saw the publication of Land for the Many, a landmark report commissioned by the Labour Party and edited by George Monbiot. It gives a thorough account of the role of land in creating many of the problems Corbyn’s Labour has firmly in its sights – poverty, inequality, the climate crisis and unaffordable housing – and puts forward a huge range of solutions. Among them is a recommendation to reform the Land Compensation Act … Read more

Land reform: the key to ambitious social housing
Land reform: the key to ambitious social housing

The next Prime Minister must put social housing at the heart of their solution to our housing emergency. The scale of the crisis demands serious ambition to build enough social homes for all who need them. But it’s not just a numbers game. As Shelter’s new Grounds for Change essay collection argues, alongside investment the government must learn from history and take action to reform our broken land laws. Only then will we build the high-quality, well-designed, genuinely affordable homes … Read more

We need to reform the 1961 Act to create places people love
We need to reform the 1961 Act to create places people love
Guest Blog – Will Tanner, Director of Onward

If you were to construct a system to maximise resentment towards new housebuilding, the British land system would probably come close.

For decades, new homes have been encouraged in places that communities are most likely to oppose development, in designs that jar with local styles, without proper consultation with communities, and with insufficient investment in the infrastructure that local people understandably expect alongside housing.

The root causes of undersupply are often thought … Read more

Scotland is proof we must abolish Section 21
Scotland is proof we must abolish Section 21

New research by Shelter shows that Scottish renters have been reaping the benefits of open-ended tenancies since the introduction of the Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) in December 2017.  

These new tenancies are helping renters worry less about becoming homeless, worry less about getting locked into inflexible fixed term tenancies, and giving them more faith in politicians. 

With the prospect of open-ended tenancies on the horizon for English renters, the early signs from Scotland show that they too stand to benefit from greater security of tenure.

Scottish… 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

Two years on from the fire: coming together to stand in solidarity with Grenfell’s community
Two years on from the fire: coming together to stand in solidarity with Grenfell’s community

On Friday 14 June, Britain will pause at 11am to hold a minute’s silence in remembrance of the 72 lives lost during the Grenfell Tower fire on this day two years ago.

During this moment of reflection, I hope you’ll be joining me and hundreds of thousands of people from across the country as we take time to pause and remember the community affected by the fire. 

But this also serves to remind ourselves that there’s still important work to be done. 

Like many other organisations, we’ve been … Read more