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Sireena's story
Sireena's story

My son amazes me every day. He works so hard at school, he’s an A-star student. He never lets our home life get him down and it breaks my heart because there’s very little I can do to change things right now. This Christmas will be just like the last – cold, damp and difficult. I’ll make it as good as I can for us, but when you’re living in a cramped, temporary place, doing whatever you can to keep … Read more

General Election 2019: why we can't let MPs forget housing
General Election 2019: why we can't let MPs forget housing

In the last year in England alone, a household became homeless every four minutes. In that same year, 692 rough sleepers died, again in England alone. That’s an increase of 22% on the previous year. Hundreds of people are dying on our streets, thousands are homeless and millions are at risk of losing their homes: this is the UK’s housing emergency. It must not slip off the agenda during this general election.

Earlier this month, the Queen’s Speech introduced her … Read more

Rising homelessness and struggling families: something has got to give
Rising homelessness and struggling families: something has got to give

In our last post, the challenges that private renters in receipt of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) face in finding an affordable and decent home were laid out. This inability to access housing they can afford means that many people are forced to accept large shortfalls between their LHA and their rent in order to find a home.

Our research has found that nearly 42% of non-working LHA households face a monthly shortfall of over £100. This is a significant … Read more

An end to no-fault evictions  –  what's next?
An end to no-fault evictions – what's next?

Over six months ago, the government promised to make renting fairer for everyone – they committed to scrapping section 21, ending no-fault evictions once and for all. This long-overdue reform will transform the lives of private renters, particularly those who are worst off, and rebalance the dysfunctional relationship too many landlords have with their tenants.

With a General Election looming, renters will be looking for manifesto commitments to end no-fault evictions from all major parties. For all the parties, the … Read more

No budget means no help for those facing homelessness
No budget means no help for those facing homelessness

With the budget on 6 November cancelled, the government have further delayed taking action to lift the benefit freeze and provide stability and certainty for many in need. The benefit freeze has left Local Housing Allowance (LHA), or housing benefit for those renting privately, completely unfit for purpose, and this is pushing many people into debt, poverty, and homelessness. People are struggling to pay their rent because the LHA rate does not cover modest rents in the vast majority … Read more

Building successful and sustainable neighbourhoods
Building successful and sustainable neighbourhoods
Guest blog by Jo McCafferty, Levitt Bernstein

Following the announcement that Goldsmith Street, a social housing project in Norwich, is this year’s well-deserved winner of both the Stirling Prize and the inaugural RIBA Neave Brown Prize for Housing, there’s been a flurry of articles in the press.

Many of these pieces congratulate the skills and tenacity of the architects – Mikhail Riches and Cathy Hawley – and the bravery and vision of their client, Norwich City Council. Some predict a … 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

Older people are being let down by the housing system when they need it most
Older people are being let down by the housing system when they need it most

Imagine spending your seventies in a grim hostel room, sharing a bathroom and kitchen with strangers, not knowing if and when you’ll have to move somewhere new.  

Today is World Homeless Day, and a chance for us to reflect on homelessness in all its forms. While most of us are deeply concerned by the growing number of people sleeping rough on our streets, this is just tip of the iceberg of our growing emergency whose impact we are striving to understand, and whose impact on older people is particularly well hidden and rarely considered.  

Homelessness does not only happen to people … Read more

World Homeless Day: ending our housing emergency
World Homeless Day: ending our housing emergency

Raising awareness for World Homeless Day is something we shouldn’t have to be doing. However, with almost 280,000 people – 126,000 of who are children – currently recorded as homeless in England, it’s vital that we continue to mark this day.

Homelessness goes much deeper than rough sleeping, although this is the sharpest visible reminder of the problems that come from not having a stable home. But our country’s chronic lack of social housing and welfare reforms are driving up … Read more

Goldsmith Street winning the Stirling Prize shows that councils can lead the way in building more social housing
Goldsmith Street winning the Stirling Prize shows that councils can lead the way in building more social housing

Last night a significant moment in the history of social housing occurred. Goldsmith Street in Norwich became the first social housing project to win the RIBA’s Stirling Prize, the country’s most prestigious architecture award. The judges described Goldsmith Street as ‘a modest masterpiece’, while Guardian architecture and design critic Oliver Wainwright said: ‘This year’s choice sends a clear message that, despite government cuts, it is eminently possible for brave councils to take the initiative and build proper social housing.’… 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