The Supreme Court considers intentional homelessness
The Supreme Court considers intentional homelessness

Last week, we intervened in a key case concerning homelessness, where a family who were evicted because of a Local Housing Allowance (LHA) shortfall took their challenge to the Supreme Court. (Samuels v Birmingham City Council UKSC 2017/0172). LHA is the housing benefit provided to those renting in the private sector. But, as a result of housing benefit policy and rapidly rising rents, the benefit provided increasingly does not cover the rents people have to pay.

Issues in the caseRead more
Shake up to council duties to tackle homelessness starts today
Shake up to council duties to tackle homelessness starts today

From today, councils must change the way they help homeless people, as the Homelessness Reduction Act comes into force.

The new legislation is certainly needed. Homelessness in England has reached crisis point, as the tragic reports of people dying on our streets during the recent cold weather have brought into sharp focus.

Few of us can say we haven’t noticed an increase in men and women bedding down. Street homelessness has more than doubled in five years: last autumn over … Read more

On International Women’s Day, we mustn't ignore homeless women
On International Women’s Day, we mustn't ignore homeless women

International Women’s Day is a day to remember how badly women are being affected by our housing crisis.

While most people, when thinking about homelessness, might think of street homeless men, it’s important that we’re fully aware of the facts.

Women sleeping on the streets

It’s true that the majority of people captured by homeless street counts are men. Government data shows that only 14% of people sleeping on our streets on a given night are women.

But the women … Read more

How you made a difference; The 2017 Autumn Budget

Did it live up to its hype as “the housing budget”? Shelter is certainly pleased to see a number of positive commitments put forth to address the housing crisis and ensure more people can have access to a safe, secure and affordable home.

Our primary ask going into the Autumn Budget was for the government to lift the freeze on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) – a type of housing benefit people receive to cover their rent in the private rented … Read more

On Universal Credit, the government is ignoring the elephant in the room

As Philip Hammond prepares for this week’s Budget, it looks increasingly likely that he will concede on making some changes to Universal Credit (UC). Faced with opposition from his own backbenchers, who have challenged him with distressing tales from their constituencies, Mr Hammond may opt to reduce the six week waiting time for the benefit.

If so, it will be welcome. We have been calling for changes for long enough. Our frontline workers are seeing families reduced to destitution because … Read more

Kettle packs and extreme overcrowding: the realities of temporary accommodation

Having to feed your family while trapped in just one room, with nothing other than a kettle, isn’t something you’d expect to hear about in Britain in 2017.

But this sadly, was the reality for residents living in Buckinghamshire, where an explosion in the number of homeless families meant the council was forced to house those people in temporary accommodation (TA). Local foodbanks responded by putting together ‘kettle packs’, because all that was in the rooms to cook with were … Read more

Fair rent homes? Our long-term mission to transform renting

As you know, we’re currently campaigning hard to lift the freeze on Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a type of housing benefit given to 1.2m private tenants who need help paying their rent. But since the government froze LHA in 2015, rents have risen and people are being forced into homelessness as the burden of their rent becomes too much.

If we don’t act now, one million households could be at risk of homelessness by 2020.… Read more