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Low expectations and little chance of winning – private renters need more support
Low expectations and little chance of winning – private renters need more support

Renters have been through too many years of hurt, it’s time things changed. Our new research shows private renters are having to spend a massive £41bn in rents per year.

For context, this is four times the amount the government spends on affordable housing.

And (since we’re all obviously in the midst of World Cup fever) this could even buy the England squad in about a week – or the Brazil squad in a little over that if you prefer.… Read more

How I became homeless
How I became homeless

Guest blog by Shandor Nikitits 

My name is Shandor. This time last year, I was made homeless.  

The exact circumstances are not relevant, but it’s fair to say that at a very defining moment –  10:25 on Thursday 11 July 2013. I spiralled, setting off a chain of events that place me before you today.  

I vividly remember reading the letter informing me that my lodgings were terminated, and I would need to vacate by 1 March, 2017. I was … Read more

'B&B is a prison sentence': children speak about being homeless
'B&B is a prison sentence': children speak about being homeless

The Change it! campaign, supported by the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), is publishing new research into the lives of homeless children growing up in temporary accommodation. In this guest blog, Maria Stephens, Participation Manager at CRAE, writes about some of the harrowing stories that arose from the research – and about what might be driving the problem.

‘I’ve given up hope’

‘Living in B&B is like serving a prison sentence; I’ve almost given up hope. I’m 14 and … Read more

Why we need a bold new plan for social housing
Why we need a bold new plan for social housing

We’re just a few days from the one-year anniversary of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire, and many survivors are still waiting for a new home. It’s simply unacceptable – but it’s sadly no surprise when the situation is just as stark throughout the country.

Only 290,000 social homes were made available in 2016/17 – despite over one million households being on the waiting list. That’s a whopping shortfall of 800,000 homes. Why? A combination of much-needed social homes being sold … Read more

Grenfell: One year on
Grenfell: One year on

It’s been a year since 72 people tragically lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower Fire.

Since then, what progress has been made to support the survivors and make sure nothing like this ever happens again? I’m a Shelter housing advisor, and I’ve been working in the area since it happened – supporting many of those who were affected by the fire to find a new home.

Has everyone from the tower been rehoused?

Some 210 families who lived in … Read more

No, lower land prices aren’t something to worry about
No, lower land prices aren’t something to worry about

Lowering the cost of land is a holy grail in trying to fix our housing crisis. Why? Because the high land prices that we see in our current speculative development system directly lead to less affordable housing, slow build-out and poor quality.

Recently, the Sunday Telegraph covered this issue with an article about a possible land price cap being introduced in the updated National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). What the Sunday Telegraph talks about isn’t a land price cap as … Read more

13.1 things to know about running a charity half marathon for the first time
13.1 things to know about running a charity half marathon for the first time

We’re delighted to bring you this guest blog from Glen, who recently took on the Hackney Half Marathon for Shelter.

A half marathon isn’t easy. That’s not even one of the 13.1 things for you to know. No, that’s just some straight-up complimentary truth to kick things off. If you’re not a runner, this is going to be hard work. But that’s the point – because you find running far to be plain-sailing, then you won’t get any sponsors. Your … Read more

Using service design to help the people who need housing advice the most
Using service design to help the people who need housing advice the most

As the first service designer here at Shelter, it’s been vital for me to prove the value of service design throughout our work. I’ve had the opportunity to deliver a significant step forward in the quality and quantity of advice we provide to thousands of people each day, so thought I’d share how this all came about.

Our national helpline is open 365 days a year, offering expert advice to anyone struggling with housing and homelessness-related issues. In 2016/17, our … Read more

Unsafe cladding: we’ve made progress, but our campaign isn’t over
Unsafe cladding: we’ve made progress, but our campaign isn’t over
Our campaign 

One year on after Grenfell, only 4% of the 158 social housing tower blocks with the same cladding have had it removed and replaced. In March 2018, we launched our campaign urging the government to step up and make sure these homes are safe. We asked the government to do three things:

provide essential emergency funding to cover the costs of removing and replacing unsafe cladding for social landlords provide guidance on which materials are safe to use… Read more
An introduction to housing courts
An introduction to housing courts

At last year’s Conservative Party Conference, Sajid Javid announced that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) would consult on the case for a specialist housing court. The government wanted to explore whether a new housing court could improve court processes, making it quicker and cheaper to resolve disputes – particularly for landlords and tenants.

Since this initial announcement, MHCLG has said little publicly about its plans for consultation. However, the idea of a specialist housing court has … Read more

Should safe cladding come at the expense of new affordable homes?
Should safe cladding come at the expense of new affordable homes?

The government has been criticised for deciding to pay for the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding on social housing tower blocks by dipping into the budget for new social house building.

We have previously praised the government for stepping forward to fund this vital work to remove unsafe cladding. Alongside indications it will ban combustible cladding entirely, this will go a long way to tackling some of the construction failings that have been blamed for the tragedy at Grenfell.… Read more

Why town planners need to be more like Michelangelo
Why town planners need to be more like Michelangelo

A new report from the Raynsford Review explains why the planning system has worsened over the past hundred years and that, to fix it, we need to start talking about homes and not units again.

Planning is not boring, honestly. It’s critically important. It’s not about S106 and CIL, but rather affordable housing, and how communities function. And it’s at a crossroads right now, as the government is currently reviewing national planning laws.

It’s therefore timely that a new report Read more