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A child becomes homeless in Britain every eight minutes – this is a national emergency
A child becomes homeless in Britain every eight minutes – this is a national emergency

My childhood made me who I am. I was incredibly lucky then and, no surprise, I’m incredibly lucky now. And perhaps at Christmas I was luckiest of all. In our house, where we had enough space, security, safety, and comfort, there were always presents, a big tree, a delicious dinner.

In my job, I so often reflect on my own good fortune, because our frontline services at Shelter are almost overwhelmed with the suffering, fear, chaos, and trauma that homelessness … Read more

The national housing emergency and the Liberal Democrats
The national housing emergency and the Liberal Democrats

On 12 December, the United Kingdom will go to the polls in a general election for the third time in four years. One thing, however, is abundantly clear – that whoever the next government is they will need to take radical steps to tackle our national housing emergency.

For the 1.1 million households on council waiting lists, the 277,000 people who are homeless in England, and the millions of families trapped in insecure private rentals, action can’t come soon enough.… Read more

The national housing emergency and the Green Party
The national housing emergency and the Green Party

On 12 December, the United Kingdom will go to the polls in a general election for the third time in four years. One thing, however, is abundantly clear: whoever the next government is, they will need to take radical steps to tackle our national housing emergency.

For the 1.1 million households on council waiting lists, the 277,000 people who are homeless in England, and the millions of families trapped in insecure private rentals, action can’t come soon enough.

To help … Read more

It’s time to fix Britain’s housing crisis at its roots: land
It’s time to fix Britain’s housing crisis at its roots: land
Guest blog by Alastair Parvin, CEO of Open System Lab

Let’s do a thought experiment.

Imagine that the UK was restricted to only one web domain address for every person. Enough for everyone to have one each, but only just. Every year, in order to keep up with population growth, the government issues a few thousand new ones for a notional fee of £462 each. Some addresses get much better download speeds than others, but they all get issued for … Read more

General election 2019: A key moment to invest in local housing allowance
General election 2019: A key moment to invest in local housing allowance

For a long time, we’ve made a very clear argument that housing benefit for private renters, or local housing allowance (LHA), needs to be lifted up so that it covers the cost of renting.

LHA is now so far below the cost of renting in almost all areas of England that people are having to make impossible decisions about whether they cut back on food for their families or on heating their homes during winter.

This is why it’s incredibly … Read more

General election 2019: Big changes coming in housing
General election 2019: Big changes coming in housing

It’s housing day in the general election campaign, but it’s not a normal election housing day. In all recent elections the housing policies of the major parties have been welcome but small reforms at best and actually destructive at worst. Now, with major commitments from the big parties, this election marks a sharp turn from the incremental to the transformational. Make no mistake, the plans laid out to build hundreds of thousands of new social homes are big, as are … Read more

Boris Johnson vs Jeremy Corbyn: But what about the housing emergency?
Boris Johnson vs Jeremy Corbyn: But what about the housing emergency?

Last night, we watched with bated breath as Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson went head-to-head in the first party leaders’ debate of the 2019 general election campaign.

We know we’re living through extraordinary times in terms of housing – although these extraordinary times have now gone on so long as to become depressingly usual in many ways. The emergency we’re facing affects us all. Whether that be directly or indirectly, the national failure that has resulted in a 22% increase … Read more

Chancellor and Berkeley Homes boss back the campaign for land reform: 'An efficient and morally justifiable tax'
Chancellor and Berkeley Homes boss back the campaign for land reform: 'An efficient and morally justifiable tax'

The odds on ending our housing emergency improved this weekend after the Daily Telegraph revealed that Tony Pidgley, founder and chairman of Berkeley Group, has joined the ranks of the country’s growing coalition for land reform. Speaking to journalist Liam Halligan for the new book Home Truths: The UK’s chronic housing shortage, Pidgley describes a housebuilding system ‘in dire need of reform’, and calls for landowners and developers to be forced to share profits of new housing developments … Read more

New builds? Don’t get me started
New builds? Don’t get me started

Last week saw the release of data on housebuilding, with some good news for once; a little over 214,000 new homes were built this year, and total supply – including conversions – is higher than it has been for decades; 241,000 in fact. Given government’s target is to reach 300,00 net additional dwellings annually by the middle of next decade; they and developers are celebrating.

But if you understand the housing market, you’ll be waiting for the fall – … Read more

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