One paycheque away from losing their home
One paycheque away from losing their home

Every month is a struggle for mum of three Joanna. Despite working as a dinner lady at a local primary school, her paycheque is nowhere near enough to cover her rent and pay for food, bills, and all the other costs associated with supporting a family.

‘It’s a constant battle trying to make things work,’ Joanna tells Shelter. ‘When I go to the supermarket, the first place I’m looking is in the reduced section. This is normal to me. It’s … Read more

How a social home changed my life
How a social home changed my life

It’s unbelievable how many families are forced to rent privately because they can’t secure a social home and have no hope of buying. That’s exactly the situation I was in.

I spent over a decade privately renting a cottage for myself and my daughter. Every month was a struggle to cover the rent. I felt a lot of shame about that – like I was getting something wrong or should be coping better.

For the final few years we lived … Read more

I’m a teacher, I’m a single mother, I have a sick son, and yet this is our only option
I’m a teacher, I’m a single mother, I have a sick son, and yet this is our only option

My name is Georgina, I’m 28 years old and I’m a secondary school maths teacher. I live with my three year old son in a one bedroom flat. 

Oliver is a very playful, inquisitive, boisterous toddler, who has a real zest for life.  He loves being outdoors. He has a real love of learning. He’s fantastic, he’s my little boy.

Oliver was diagnosed with a brain tumour 18 months ago. He has chemotherapy treatment every Monday.

I’m privately renting our … Read more

My disabled daughter has had 14 different homes
My disabled daughter has had 14 different homes

I’m a single parent with three children. My 15 year old daughter Sasha is severely disabled. For the last 15 years I’ve been trying to secure her suitable accommodation – a property which is safe for her and gives her some independence through being adapted – but I’ve been unsuccessful.

We’ve also been constantly facing eviction from different private rental properties since 2016, for reasons that are out of our control. Last year we were living in a bungalow, and … Read more

'It's not fair to expect people and their children to hop about from home to home'
'It's not fair to expect people and their children to hop about from home to home'

Moving to a new house is one of the most stressful things a family can do. For Lucie, who has had to move seven times in the last 11 years, the upheaval has been a regular feature of family life.

The cost of all this moving has been high, both financially and in terms of disruption for her and her children. ‘It’s been up and down for years. I think I’ve had seven properties, and out of those landlords, four … Read more

‘My baby’s first home was a hostel...’
‘My baby’s first home was a hostel...’

Francesca, a working mother from south London, gave birth to her baby son, Malachi while she was living in a hostel.

With help from our expert housing advisers, she was able to leave the hostel and create a better future for her children.

‘I lived in one room in a hostel from July 2014 until January 2015, with my 11-year-old daughter Cleo. My son Malachi was born while we were living there.

‘I had lived at home with my mum, … Read more

After they escaped domestic abuse, they needed a safe home
After they escaped domestic abuse, they needed a safe home

Mel and her three daughters had nowhere else to go, but the moment her husband threatened to kill four-year-old Olivia, Mel knew she had no choice but to leave their home.

They desperately needed somewhere safe and secure to stay, but instead they were given a freezing room in an outbuilding far away from the main property. They were so isolated that no one would hear them if they shouted for help. There was only one way in and out, … 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 re read moreRead more

Laura is now in her forever home
Laura is now in her forever home

Laura’s mouldy council flat was putting her son’s life in danger until Shelter’s Hospital Discharge Team took on the family’s case. 

Imagine wanting to take your much-loved child home from hospital but being unable to do so as the conditions there would make him ill – or even endanger his life. That’s the horrible catch-22 that Laura faced until our hospital discharge team in Birmingham stepped in to help.  

When we first met Laura, she was living in a damp … Read more

Taking action against a rogue landlord
Taking action against a rogue landlord

Tom’s landlord was exploiting and abusing his vulnerable tenants. Tom, with Shelter’s help, took legal action. 

‘In December 2016, I moved into a new place. It was the kind of house that people move into when they’re desperate, the landlord knew it and he took advantage.  

The oven was leaking gas when I moved in. The landlord had blocked off the boiler so the tenants couldn’t turn on the heating and the shower had rotten floorboards under it; you could … Read more

Homelessness can happen so quickly – and to anyone
Homelessness can happen so quickly – and to anyone
Chris is a grafter. Always has been.

His painting and decorating business was what he loved and was a huge part of his identity. He always earned enough to be happy and never imagined he’d struggle to afford a home.

But one fateful day, he fell from a roof whilst finishing off the one last paint job of the day and his life turned upside down.

Chris woke up in hospital to find he’d sustained a severe head injury. In … Read more

Shelter's support helped me hold bad letting agency to account
Shelter's support helped me hold bad letting agency to account

When Sarah’s son was forced to leave his home after being harassed and intimidated by a letting agency, she had no idea how to help him. 

A phone call with Shelter made Sarah aware that the agency’s behaviour was illegal, and what she could do about it. Twelve months after her son was forced out, she’d brought an official complaint against the agency, winning compensation and a damning verdict on the way they had acted. 

How it started

Problems began … Read more