Posts

Social housing must be at the heart of the Budget
Social housing must be at the heart of the Budget

Many of the newspapers have been speculating as to whether the recent change of Chancellor will see a bigger commitment in the March Budget to embracing the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for upgrading our country’s infrastructure.

The Prime Minister has said that he wants to see our country become one ‘where high-speed trains glide between our great cities, where electric buses convey us cleanly around our towns.’ The PM that likes to paint buses wants us all to share his enthusiasm.… Read more

The government's response to Universal Credit court fine deductions
The government's response to Universal Credit court fine deductions

Many of the people we see on a daily basis have come on an unthinkably difficult journey just to finally secure a settled home. It’s something many of us take for granted. After years of living on the streets, managing to maintain a home, bills and the administrative burden that comes with it is a triumph within itself. But for an increasing number of service users, this hard work and perseverance is being eroded because of huge deductions being taken … Read more

Bringing two passions together for Shelter
Bringing two passions together for Shelter

London GROW trainee, Liam, is bringing his two passions together again by stepping up from a half to the full London Marathon – this time, for Shelter!

Running for good

Hi, I’m Liam – and I’m the new Getting Real Opportunities of Work (GROW) trainee with the London STAR team (Supporting Tenancies, Accommodation and Reconnections). This year, as well as learning the ropes in my new role, I’ll be taking on another challenge: running the London Marathon! And all the … Read more

Losing the plot: part 1
Losing the plot: part 1

Last week saw the publication of the latest batch of results from the perhaps badly named Public Land for Housing programme (PLfH). Run by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the first programme started in 2011 with a target to sell land for 100,000 homes by 2015. This was followed by a further programme to sell land with room for another 160,000 homes between 2015 and 2020. These programmes are also targeted to deliver receipts of £5 … Read more

Helpline heroes are fighting the housing emergency
Helpline heroes are fighting the housing emergency

Every minute matters when a family is facing a housing emergency.

Our helpline answers around 100 calls a day from people in need of help with their housing. Many of them are in desperate situations, so our advisers spring straight into action. Now we need your help so that we can continue our round the clock support.

One of the many advisers working on our helpline is Adam. He’s been working here since June and has already helped many people … Read more

Humanising digital to give personalised advice to people struggling with housing
Humanising digital to give personalised advice to people struggling with housing

Over the last three years, we have been busy working on various areas to improve our services. The number of people that need our help keeps dramatically increasing, so we streamlined the digital experience for people that want to access our services – and redefined what counted as an emergency, so we can answer more urgent calls.

Now, we want to expand our digital offer so that we can help more of the people whose situation is not … Read more

Government announces further delays to the Universal Credit roll-out
Government announces further delays to the Universal Credit roll-out

Earlier this week, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced further delays to the roll-out of Universal Credit (UC) because people are not moving onto the new system fast enough. Originally planned to be completed by April 2017, the government are now saying the roll-out won’t be complete until September 2024.

At present, the only people moving to UC are those who have to make a new application because their circumstances changed. The future plan is that claimants will … Read more

Unscrupulous firms are cashing in on the housing emergency
Unscrupulous firms are cashing in on the housing emergency

Homelessness is big business. I do not mean for the homeless families forced to live in squalid ‘temporary accommodation’, you understand. But plenty of people are queueing up to make money from it, and the opportunities to cash in are there.

Last night’s Panorama on the BBC shone a light on a murky world. More than 86,000 households in England are living in temporary accommodation – a population the size of York. And it is costing councils over a billion pounds.

How … Read more

How Shelter Bristol is working to help homeless women
How Shelter Bristol is working to help homeless women

We know that women have a different experience of being homeless to men. If we want to help women who are homeless, then our services must take this into account.

Bristol has a disproportionate number of homeless women, so our local service is looking at ways to address this, while considering women’s different experiences of homelessness. ‘We have identified it’s an issue in Bristol,’ says Penny Walster, Shelter Bristol Hub Manager, ‘and we have been looking at what we can … Read more

Creating focus using design sprints at Shelter
Creating focus using design sprints at Shelter

At Shelter, we fight for people’s right to a safe home. This could mean us providing legal representation against someone’s eviction in court, providing one-to-one advice via our helpline or hubs, or lobbying the government against estate agent fees, which we successfully managed to ban last summer ✊🏽.

UX time is shared across all parts of Shelter, whether that be campaigns, services, or fundraising, each with different priorities and deadlines. This means it can sometimes be quite hard to balance … Read more

Late homeless appeals and legal aid cuts – key guidance from the Court of Appeal
Late homeless appeals and legal aid cuts – key guidance from the Court of Appeal

Today, the Court of Appeal handed down an important judgment on homelessness, in which Shelter intervened. It hammers a welcome stake in the ground regarding access to justice for people struggling with homelessness, highlighting the importance of legal aid in ensuring that people can appeal decisions under the Homelessness Reduction Act about whether they will be housed.

In Al Ahmed v London Borough of Tower Hamlets [2020] EWCA Civ 51, Mr Al Ahmed suffered from a number of medical conditions … Read more

New data makes the case for a new generation of social homes
New data makes the case for a new generation of social homes

Last week saw the release of the English Housing Survey (EHS) – the most comprehensive source we have for understanding the housing emergency. This government survey collects information about the quality, condition and affordability of the homes people live in. It’s been running for 50 years in various forms and is an invaluable record of how people’s housing circumstances have changed over time.

And yesterday new figures were released, which tell us how many households are on the waiting list for social … Read more