World Homeless Day: ending our housing emergency
World Homeless Day: ending our housing emergency

Raising awareness for World Homeless Day is something we shouldn’t have to be doing. However, with almost 280,000 people – 126,000 of who are children – currently recorded as homeless in England, it’s vital that we continue to mark this day.

Homelessness goes much deeper than rough sleeping, although this is the sharpest visible reminder of the problems that come from not having a stable home. But our country’s chronic lack of social housing and welfare reforms are driving up … Read more

Goldsmith Street winning the Stirling Prize shows that councils can lead the way in building more social housing
Goldsmith Street winning the Stirling Prize shows that councils can lead the way in building more social housing

Last night a significant moment in the history of social housing occurred. Goldsmith Street in Norwich became the first social housing project to win the RIBA’s Stirling Prize, the country’s most prestigious architecture award. The judges described Goldsmith Street as ‘a modest masterpiece’, while Guardian architecture and design critic Oliver Wainwright said: ‘This year’s choice sends a clear message that, despite government cuts, it is eminently possible for brave councils to take the initiative and build proper social housing.’… Read more

Conservative Party Conference: Where is the government’s offer for struggling renters?
Conservative Party Conference: Where is the government’s offer for struggling renters?

In its mission to use the Conservative Party Conference to promote homeownership, the government has all but forgotten about struggling renters on low to average incomes. Here, we explain why piecemeal changes to shared ownership fail to tackle the roots of our housing emergency.

In the last two years, the Conservative Party Conference has brought some welcome news for struggling renters. In 2017, Theresa May used her speech to announce the first funding for truly affordable social rent homes since Read more

Small sites must deliver social housing
Small sites must deliver social housing

Here at Shelter, we want to see the introduction of reforms that will help deliver more social housing.

Planning reforms have a role to play in this. Especially reforms that provide the system with strength, greater clarity and, crucially, can empower the system to secure more high-quality social housing.

But, as highlighted in the first blog in our series on the planning system, planning deregulation is not the way forward. This is something the blogs will explain in more detail, … Read more

Planning for our future: how important is the planning system for social housing?
Planning for our future: how important is the planning system for social housing?

Few topics in housing prompt such a polarising range of responses as planning. For some, the planning system is an anathema, the single greatest barrier to solving our national housing emergency. For others, proper planning is the key to solving that housing emergency, the way that we guide development to ensure it works for local communities.

Shelter, it’s fair to say, sits closer to the second school of thought.

That’s not to say that we can’t see room for reform … 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

George Clarke’s rallying cry for more social housing
George Clarke’s rallying cry for more social housing

This week, Channel 4 showed the latest film from George Clarke, architect, TV presenter and Shelter ambassador. George Clarke’s Council Housing Scandal is a rallying cry for everyone who believes Britain desperately needs more social housing.

At its core, the documentary is an indictment of the terrible state of housing in this country. Clarke visits people living in temporary accommodation and sees the awful conditions they are forced to live in. He’s visibly moved by families forced into cramped flats … Read more

Successful housing markets are built on social homes
Successful housing markets are built on social homes

It’s obvious that there is no solution to our housing emergency that doesn’t include many more social homes. Homes with secure tenancies and genuinely affordable rents pegged to local incomes, with enough space for children to play and do homework, and for adults to live with dignity. On its own, market housing – that is private housing for rent or sale – simply cannot provide a home for everyone who needs one without compromising standards in unacceptable ways.

100 … Read more

Council housing is the bedrock of the future, not a relic of the past
Council housing is the bedrock of the future, not a relic of the past
Guest blog by John Boughton

Lloyd George never promised ‘Homes for Heroes’, and the 1919 Housing and Town Planning Act didn’t create the first ‘council’ housing. But, those two common misconceptions aside, it’s been a pleasure to see Christopher Addison’s flagship reform so widely celebrated on its centenary. And with good reason: 100 years on, there’s an urgent need to see a commitment to large-scale social housebuilding that matches the ambitions of 1919, to provide homes people desperately need. 

My … Read more

An open letter to the Prime Minister
An open letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister,

You have arrived in office in the middle of a housing emergency. Almost 280,000 people are homeless in England, including 123,000 children. Half of young people have no chance of ever buying a home, and millions are trapped in expensive and unstable private renting.

Clearly this emergency is crying out for some sort of ‘DUDE’ moment of its own.

Your predecessor took a vital step towards improving the lives of England’s 11 million private renters when she … 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

Social Housing: Theresa May’s Legacy?
Social Housing: Theresa May’s Legacy?

Years from now, when the history of Theresa May’s record on housing is written, it will remain impossible to ignore the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Few events change the course of debate the way this did. In the two years since the fire, the public discourse on social housing has made a profound and welcome turn. But meaningful changes in policy have been much slower to come.

Today, people living in social housing are still being failed by poor regulation … Read more