Budget 2020: What are the Chancellor's plans to end homelessness?
Budget 2020: What are the Chancellor's plans to end homelessness?

A week might be a long time in politics, but 18 months is a lot longer. And that’s how long we’ve had to wait for a budget – our last having been delivered two chancellors ago back in November 2018. What has stayed stubbornly and heartbreakingly true throughout this period in England is that we have been continually stuck in a national housing emergency.

This emergency is now impacting the lives of millions of people living in every region of … Read more

David Davis calls on the chancellor to build more social housing
David Davis calls on the chancellor to build more social housing
Guest blog by David Davis MP

David Davis has brought together politicians from across the Conservative Party to call on the chancellor to invest in social housing at the upcoming budget. This is another clear example of the growing cross-party consensus on the issue, and an important milestone. The letter appeared exclusively in The Sun on the 9th of March along with the following piece by David Davis where he makes his case for social housing to the government. 

Although … Read more

The chancellor must lift housing benefit rates
The chancellor must lift housing benefit rates

When the government announced it was ending the freeze on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) – housing benefit for those renting privately – we and millions of households were hopeful. But as of April 2020, the government will lift LHA rates by only a pitiful 1.7%.

As our new assessment of the true impact of LHA shows, after a decade of cuts and freezes, the current proposals are nowhere near enough to provide a stable home for the estimated 1.4 million … Read more

The government's new rough sleeping figures only give one part of the picture – these are the numbers you need to know
The government's new rough sleeping figures only give one part of the picture – these are the numbers you need to know

4,266 people – nine per cent fewer than last year – slept rough on a given night. But the methodology is tricky.

At the start of this week, there was a truly upsetting report looking at the deaths of homeless people sleeping in bins. It was one of those viscerally awful stories that surely means you can’t ignore the human cost of the housing emergency.

This horror story was followed by new BBC research on Wednesday looking at the number … Read more

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

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

A tax on both your (privately rented) houses

Wednesday’s budget furrowed many a brow at Shelter. The Chancellor singled out housing support for substantial cuts. A lot of the people who come to Shelter for help are about to find themselves worse off – and our job just got tougher.

However, amidst this frustration there were some sensible tax reforms that deserve an honourable mention.

1. Raise the Roof

The Budget raised the tax-free threshold for the rent-a-room scheme.

This scheme was introduced in 1992 to offer … Read more

Homelessness rises as benefits are cut – coincidence?

Two days after George Osborne’s budget for an ‘aspiration nation’, with its focus on home ownership, today’s homelessness statistics reveal the reality for people at the sharp end of Britain’s housing crisis.

Homelessness acceptances are up 10% since 2011 to 53,450 households, 64% of them accepted because they’re families with dependent children.

The number of households placed in B&B accommodation is up 26% to 4,000, including 1,690 families with children. The number of families stuck in B&Bs beyond the legal … Read more