Posts

DSS Discrimination: letting agent excuses
DSS Discrimination: letting agent excuses

Our DSS discrimination campaign has lifted the lid on practices and policies many would like to believe simply didn’t exist in 2018. 

Recently Vicky Foxcroft, MP for Lewisham and Deptford, raised with us how shocked she had been to discover the impossible situation people were being put in. During regular constituency drop-in surgeries, Ms Foxcroft was repeatedly faced with constituents in receipt of housing benefit being denied somewhere to live by multiple letting agencies. 

Shocked by the discriminatory practice and … Read more

Lies, damn lies, and making use of statistics
Lies, damn lies, and making use of statistics

Using statistics often requires a compromise of some sort, because a statistic is usually a simplification of a more complex issue. This means stats are often misused, or misunderstood.

We were recently criticised (along with the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) – always a good organisation to be grouped with) by Ian Mulheirn on our use of the local authority level Valuation Office Authority (VOA) data on two-bed private sector housing rents. We were told that the VOA data does … Read more

Kimberley's story
Kimberley's story

Kimberley’s story November 9, 2018 Kimberley and her family became homeless when their landlord decided to sell. They desperately tried to find another flat to rent privately, but because they were receiving housing benefit, or DSS, time and time again they were r read moreRead more

Mariam's story
Mariam's story

Mariam’s story November 9, 2018 Mariam and her three children became homeless after severe domestic violence by her husband left them in fear for their lives. When we first met her, she was living with her teenage sons and her young daughter in emergency accommoda read moreRead more

Letwin Review: public-led, land assembly model for large-scale projects
Letwin Review: public-led, land assembly model for large-scale projects

Guest blog from Thomas Aubrey – Advisor, Centre for Progressive Policy

In his Budget, the chancellor announced plans for a simpler system of developer contributions, enabling local areas to capture a greater share of uplift in land values for infrastructure and social housing on large schemes. The supporting budget documentation is highly critical of the current system of developer contributions, saying it ‘is acting as a barrier to the delivery of housing’.[1]

Philip Hammond’s statement indicates that the current … Read more

What does the Budget mean for Universal Credit?
What does the Budget mean for Universal Credit?

So, there we have it. The final Budget before Brexit.

An interesting one. Or was it? Well, there were a few terrible jokes (mainly about toilets), and an interesting display of the most pantomime aspects of politics – boos, heckles, cheers, and jeers.

But what does it all mean for Universal Credit? Broadly speaking it means an acknowledgement of errors, more time, and a bit more money. This is still not even close to the money that was cut from … Read more

Letwin identifies the problem but misses the solution
Letwin identifies the problem but misses the solution

One thing that probably won’t feature in today’s post-Budget headlines is the result of the Independent Review of Build Out undertaken by Sir Oliver Letwin.

While the report might not provide headlines, it does deserve recognition because it taps into a singularly vital part of our housing crisis: the cost of land. This means Letwin joins a growing group who recognise that only by bringing land into development at lower values can we unlock better, faster, more affordable development.

This … Read more

DSS discrimination: campaign update
DSS discrimination: campaign update

Shelter supporters are a powerful bunch.

Since we launched our campaign against DSS discrimination in August, they’ve acted en mass. Thousands have emailed, tweeted and called Ludlow Thompson, a leading letting agent, to demand that they stamp out discrimination against renters on housing benefit

Our joint investigation with the National Housing Federation suggested that Ludlow Thompson were frequently banning renters on housing benefit from homes they let. In response to the investigation, Ludlow told us that it was not company Read more

Renting in England: Paying more for less

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re being ripped off? The answer is probably yes; everybody occasionally thinks they’ve overpaid or haven’t been getting their money’s worth. Hopefully, that’s a rare feeling for you. But if you’re a private renter, then there’s a good chance it’s all too familiar.

New analysis from Shelter shows that renters have every reason to feel this way. The average private renter is now paying over £1,600 more per year on housing than a … Read more

Challenging DSS discrimination at NatWest
Challenging DSS discrimination at NatWest

For the last two months we’ve been leading the fight against ‘DSS discrimination’, where renters receiving housing benefit are unfairly banned from renting homes they could afford. This prejudice isn’t just wrong – we also think it’s unlawful.

The campaign kicked off with the results of our joint investigation with the National Housing Federation into housing benefit bans in the lettings industry. This suggested that several leading letting agents are turning people on benefits away.

We’ve written to the Read more

Shelter services - our view on benefit discrimination
Shelter services - our view on benefit discrimination

At Shelter, we know how hard it can be for people to find somewhere safe and suitable to live. For many, the security and affordability of social housing is an impossible dream, never mind the fantasy of owning their own home.

While families sit on waiting lists up and down the country, they, and millions of others, face the harsh reality of private renting. The eye-watering cost is not even the first hurdle. The majority of low-income renters will have … Read more

Mariam’s Story
Mariam’s Story

Mariam, along with her two teenage sons and young daughter became homeless when severe domestic violence at the hands of Mariam’s husband left them in fear for their lives.  

Birmingham City Council placed the family in temporary accommodation, but her husband – who had been arrested for trying to kill Mariam and her daughter – found out where they were staying and sent his friends to threaten her. Mariam and her children were moved into emergency accommodation: a one-bedroom outhouse … Read more