Tag Archives: Shelter UK

Shelter Responds To PM Speech On Housing

Shelter UK

Shelter UK

Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, said: “We welcome today’s speech for recognising the scale of our housing emergency and the fact our current housebuilding system is clearly not fit for purpose.

“The Prime Minister has shown the government is willing to take on developers and challenge them over unfair practices that deny communities the affordable homes they need.

“We’ve been campaigning long and hard on viability assessments – a tool exploited by developers to wriggle out of building their fair share of affordable homes, so we’re pleased the government has listened and has taken steps to close the loophole.

“The government has recognised that big developers alone can’t solve this crisis and so we now need to see a more diverse sector by supporting housing associations and local authorities to build.

“For councils to move beyond just approving planning permissions and actually start building themselves, they must be allowed to borrow more money and be given ‘use it or lose it’ powers to get hold of land.

“Only by embracing a wider range of housebuilders and holding big developers to account can we provide the genuinely affordable homes we need to ease the housing crisis that’s gripping our country.”


Shelter Responds To New Government Figures On Unsafe Cladding Following The Grenfell Tower Fire

Shelter UK

Shelter UK

Official figures released today on flammable cladding similar to that used on Grenfell Tower show:

  • Across the country there are currently 301 buildings over 18m with similar cladding to that used at Grenfell. 158 of these are social housing buildings.
  • Of the social homes affected, 42% of buildings have not started works on removing or replacing the unsafe cladding
  • In total only 7 social housing buildings have fully replaced the unsafe cladding. This equates to only 4% of social housing buildings affected.

Shelter’s chief executive Polly Neate said: “This is cladding which has failed safety tests and is considered unsafe. It’s shocking that more than eight months on from the Grenfell fire only a tiny proportion of unsafe cladding has been replaced on homes across the country.

“The government’s lack of leadership has driven delays and caused confusion and it must now step up and take responsibility for ensuring these homes are safe. We urge the Secretary of State to do this by providing total clarity on fire-safety and much clearer guidance on who should pay for and carry out these essential works.”

Shelter Response To The English Housing Survey

Shelter UK

Shelter UK

Please find below Shelter’s response to the government’s English Housing Survey, which show:

  • Overall: 63% of English households are homeowners, 20% are private renters and 17% are social renters
  • Renters: The number of households that are private renting has risen by 74% in the last ten years (2007 – 2016/17) – There has been a particularly large rise in families with children in private rented sector over last ten years, with a million more now compared to ten years ago (800K in 2006/7 to 1.8m 2016/17)
  • Home ownership: The number of home owners with a mortgage has fallen by 20% over the last ten years, while the total number of households who now own outright has risen by 21% in the last ten years
  • Affordability: The average proportion of income being spent on rent by private renters is now 41%. By comparison, mortgaged households pay on average 19% of income
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “With the number of renters having risen substantially over the past decade, it’s time to start paying attention to the needs of people who rent long term, not just those who have a chance to own.
“It would be a mistake to focus on homeownership for the minority at the expense of families left to suffer expensive and insecure private renting.
“To give renters a better deal, the government must make good on its promise to massively increase the number of affordable homes available for ordinary families to rent.”
Anyone who is worried about losing their home can get free and independent, expert advice from Shelter at www.shelter.org.uk/advice or by calling the helpline on 0808 800 4444.

Rough-Sleeping Rockets By 169% Since 2010

Shelter UK

Shelter UK

Please find below Shelter’s response to new government figures on rough sleeping, which show:

  • In Autumn 2017, 4,751 people were rough sleeping in England – a 15% increase in a year and a 169% increase since 2010 when the figures first started being recorded – this is the highest number yet.

Responding to the figures, chief executive of Shelter Polly Neate, said: “These figures expose the worst pain inflicted by our housing crisis. We have failed as a society when so many people are forced to sleep rough. But they are not alone, the scourge of homelessness extends far beyond our streets. Hidden away in emergency B&B’s, temporary bedsits and on friend’s sofas are hundreds of thousands of other homeless people, including families with children.

“Most of these people are homeless simply because they couldn’t afford to live anywhere, a situation made worse by welfare cuts. While the intentions of the Homelessness Reduction Act are good, it cannot fix this crisis. To do that, the government must act to build a new generation of genuinely affordable homes to rent, as well as ensuring housing benefit is fit for purpose in the short-term.”


Anyone who is worried about losing their home can get free and independent, expert advice from Shelter at www.shelter.org.uk/advice or by calling the helpline on 0808 800 4444.

Shelter Launches Social Housing Commission In The Wake Of Grenfell Tragedy As New Stats Show Almost Half Of Families In Social Housing Ignored Or Refused Help

Shelter UK

Shelter UK

Housing charity Shelter will today launch a commission into the future of social housing to address crucial issues which have been highlighted by the Grenfell Tower Fire, as new research highlights the challenges faced by those living in social housing in getting their voice and views heard.

The commission will aim to give social housing tenants across the country, starting with the Grenfell community itself, a far louder say in the future of social housing.

Chaired by Reverend Mike Long of the Notting Hill Methodist Church near Grenfell, Shelter has brought together a panel of key figures to examine the state of social housing in modern Britain and its future role in ending the housing crisis.

Among others, they include Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Ed Miliband MP, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Lord Jim O’Neill and Grenfell tower survivor Edward Daffarn.

A series of roadshows will be held across the country, a public consultation will take place online and a major piece of research with social housing tenants will be carried out. An independent report carrying recommendations will be presented to the Prime Minister and to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn before the end of the year.

Highlighting the need for the commission, Shelter and YouGov revealed new research today showing that many of the challenges described by Grenfell residents in the aftermath of the tragic fire are faced by social housing communities right across England:

    • Almost half (48%) of families in social housing who reported issues around poor or unsafe conditions felt ignored or were refused help. Problems included fire safety, gas leaks, electrical hazards, mould and pest problems, among others
    • Almost a quarter (24%) of families in social housing said they feel looked down on because of where they live, compared with only 8% of families who are private renters or homeowners

Commission chair Reverend Mike Long said: “I hope this commission will hold a mirror up to society. We need to take a long hard look at why communities such as Grenfell have felt ignored, forgotten and too often like second-class citizens. The experiences of residents here in Grenfell are sadly common in many other parts of the country, too.”

Commissioner Ed Miliband MP said: “We have failed for too many years to deliver the social housing this country needs in the way people need it. This commission is a huge opportunity to build a great consensus for a transformation of housing provision and to respond to the rightful demand for change which followed the Grenfell tower tragedy.”

Commissioner Baroness Warsi said: “Social housing is a key part of how we build strong, cohesive communities and give the most vulnerable a chance for a home. Getting our communities to work means getting social housing right, and we need to start this by making sure the voice of those who need social housing is properly heard in our national life. That’s what this commission will try to do.”

Commissioner Edward Daffarnfrom survivors’ group Grenfell United, said: “Everyone who lived in Grenfell Tower knows just how devastating the consequences are when the wellbeing of social housing tenants and leaseholders are disregarded – more than 70 members of our community needlessly lost their lives in a wholly avoidable tragedy. If we are ever to achieve any kind of justice and recompense for what happened it will come through genuine social change and by ensuring that people living in social housing will never again be treated like second class citizens or experience such neglect and institutional indifference at the hands of housing providers. Grenfell United hope that this independent commission may act as a catalyst for the social change this is needed for our community and for the whole country.”

To find out more about ‘Shelter’s Big Conversation’ on social housing, please go to www.shelter.org.uk/bigconversation



Contact: Shelter Media Team 0207 505 2162 or 07850 901142 (out of hours)

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