Home advantage: why the Housing First model benefits all
Home advantage: why the Housing First model benefits all

This article is part of a series, ‘Shelter defending the right to a home’, that appears on theguardian.com

Offer a secure home to a homeless person and you’ll slash healthcare, probation and psychiatric nursing bills. The individual will flourish too.

“When you’re on the streets, you don’t sleep properly. You’re always on a heightened state of alert because you don’t know if you’re going to be urinated on, beaten, stabbed … I’ve had teeth knocked out, a piece of my … Read more

The benefit cap is harming struggling families
The benefit cap is harming struggling families

At Shelter, our solicitors and many other legal aid housing lawyers frequently represent families who are struggling in unimaginable ways under the household benefit cap. This policy, introduced in 2013 and revised in 2016, caps the amount in state benefits that an individual household can claim per year. Many families affected by the cap are now at breaking point.

A grandmother who gave up work to care for her five grandchildren, only for her benefits to be capped because … 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

Longer tenancies – what next?
Longer tenancies – what next?

On 26 August the government closed its consultation on three-year tenancies. Over the course of seven weeks, our supporters took advantage of a golden window of opportunity to make the case for more secure housing.

If longer tenancies became law, every renter in England would be better off. Renters would no longer live with the insecurity of being bounced from one house to the next on 6-12 month contracts. Instead they’d have the chance to make a house a homeRead 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 severe injuries including a broken … Read more

Housing’s big week: will the Rough Sleeping Strategy and Social Housing Green Paper deliver?
Housing’s big week: will the Rough Sleeping Strategy and Social Housing Green Paper deliver?

Last week was an important week for housing policy.

An important week for the thousands of men and women bedding down on our streets tonight; nearly 80,000 households going home to temporary accommodation; 1.2 million families waiting for their names to come to the top of the social housing waiting list and half a million social housing tenants without a decent home.

Rough sleeper strategy

On Monday, the Secretary of State published the Rough Sleeping Strategy, setting out the … Read more

Ending DSS Discrimination
Ending DSS Discrimination

‘On benefits’. We live in a society which has given those two words an unwelcome significance they don’t deserve. Free state education, using the NHS, assistance from the police, relying on the basic state pension, we all often depend on the state stepping in to help us live full lives. The welfare state and the benefit system exists to do the same thing. And yet we’ve become comfortable as a society with the idea that ‘on benefits’ denotes a different … Read more

Finally, our family is settled
Finally, our family is settled

Guest blog by Shandor Nikitits 

Last time, Shandor shared the emotions he felt when he broadcast his experience with homelessness to the world. Now, he tells us about the impact it had on him and his son…

I was not prepared for the effect the campaign had on our lives in the slightest. I felt that Billy was the star of our little segment and reminded him that this counted all towards his fifteen minutes of fame!

I was … Read more

Sharing my story – scary, but the right choice
Sharing my story – scary, but the right choice

Guest blog by Shandor Nikitits 

Last time, Shandor told us about his experience with homelessness. He left off by telling us that he decided to share his story with Shelter – if only to help one other person struggling with the same situation…

I was very surprised at how friendly the Shelter team who came to film us were. They made me feel at ease… It was nothing like the sort of grilling I hear interviewers like John Humphries … Read more

How I became homeless
How I became homeless

Guest blog by Shandor Nikitits 

My name is Shandor. This time last year, I was made homeless.  

The exact circumstances are not relevant, but it’s fair to say that at a very defining moment –  10:25 on Thursday 11 July 2013. I spiralled, setting off a chain of events that place me before you today.  

I vividly remember reading the letter informing me that my lodgings were terminated, and I would need to vacate by 1 March, 2017. I was … Read more

'B&B is a prison sentence': children speak about being homeless
'B&B is a prison sentence': children speak about being homeless

The Change it! campaign, supported by the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), is publishing new research into the lives of homeless children growing up in temporary accommodation. In this guest blog, Maria Stephens, Participation Manager at CRAE, writes about some of the harrowing stories that arose from the research – and about what might be driving the problem.

‘I’ve given up hope’

‘Living in B&B is like serving a prison sentence; I’ve almost given up hope. I’m 14 and … Read more

13.1 things to know about running a charity half marathon for the first time
13.1 things to know about running a charity half marathon for the first time

We’re delighted to bring you this guest blog from Glen, who recently took on the Hackney Half Marathon for Shelter.

A half marathon isn’t easy. That’s not even one of the 13.1 things for you to know. No, that’s just some straight-up complimentary truth to kick things off. If you’re not a runner, this is going to be hard work. But that’s the point – because you find running far to be plain-sailing, then you won’t get any sponsors. Your … Read more