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Archive for the ‘Shelter UK’ Category

Shelter UK Applauds New Plans to Help Tenants with Landlord Repossession

Over the past 12 months Shelter UK has been inundated with private tenants who face homelessness after their landlord’s property has been repossessed during the credit crunch. Tenants currently have no legal rights when a landlords residence is repossessed, leading to many tenants losing the roof over their head with no prior notice when the bailiffs knock on the door.

With many tenants in the private rented sector now at risk of losing their homes, over 100 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion calling for changes to the law to avoid a potential crisis across the UK. The law is now going to be changed to help protect private tenants, Shelter has warned the Government that this action must be put in place today with so many people currently experiencing the backlash from the credit crunch. In many cases across the UK, tenants have returned home from work to find their belongings on the street and the locks changed on their accommodation.

Chief Executive of Shelter, Sam Younger, said –

With many landlords facing repossession in the current climate, tenants have been coming to our advice services across the country desperately needing protection against sudden eviction. In many cases they knew nothing about it until the very last minute and have nowhere to turn. We hope the new legislation will be implemented soon so that it can start making a real difference on the ground. We very much welcome this announcement as Shelter has been calling on the Government to introduce more effective regulation of landlords.

Effective regulation would help cut down on landlord abuses in the private rented sector, provide greater protection for tenants and give tenants the right to complain about landlords. We know many landlords are individual buy-to-let investors or people who simply can’t sell their property and therefore rent it out. But its still important they realise that being a landlord is a huge responsibility and not something to be undertaken lightly. At present the rules are heavily weighted against the tenant, but new robust regulation would mean landlords who flout their responsibilities would be banned from operating in the future.

The Government’s latest action to try and help stop these evictions come in response to tireless campaigning from Shelter, Crisis, Citizens Advice and the Chartered Institute of Housing. Warnings need to be given to tenants when their landlord has defaulted on mortgage payments, as tenants should not face instant eviction through no fault of their own.

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Shelter UK Call For Budget Action

Shelter UK feels the housing market is in a critical state due to the ongoing recession in the UK. With the collapse in lending and house prices leading to severe drops in private housing supply, this will pose a serious challenge for the housebuilding industry.

Shelter UK believe the Government must start to invest heavily in a major initiative of social house building to create jobs, deliver homes and help kick start the economy. Based on National Housing Federation projections, an additional investment of £6.35 billion over the next two years would build 100,000 new social rented homes; which is 20,000 on top of the original Government target.

With the current recession threatening to undermine the Government’s commitment to build more affordable homes, the opportunity exists to provide additional social housing and stem the loss of any further construction jobs.

With thousands of people being laid off, redundancies in the construction industry are up 380% – the biggest increases in any sector in the past year.

To help make a difference email your local MP and ask them to call on the Government to invest significant additional money in new social rented homes in the next Budget on 22 April 2009.

> > click here to email your local MP to make a difference

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Shelter UK Concern at Housing Overcrowding

Shelter UK has reacted with concern to the new Communities and Local Government (CLG) figures showing 565,000 households are now living in overcrowding in UK. This is an astounding rise of 11,000 households from last years figures, with Shelter’s research showing that living in overcrowded housing harms the health of children.

Adam Sampson, chief executive of Shelter said –

‘Its shocking that in the 21st century we are seeing a rise in the number of people trapped in cramped, squalid conditions that have more in common with the Dickensian era than those of a modern nation. The antiquated overcrowding standard hasn’t changed since 1935 and considers kitchens and living rooms as acceptable places to sleep. The Government pledged 2009 would be the year they updated it so it’s more urgent than ever they keep their word.’

These figures are based on the ‘Bedroom standard’, which is used as indicator of occupation density. A standard number of bedrooms is calculated for each household in accordance with its age/sex/marital status composition and the relationship of the members to one another. But updating the standard alone will make no difference to these families unless the Government ensures that more family sized homes are urgently delivered on the ground.

Shelter is the UK’s leading housing and homelessness charity. They operate local solutions which work to improve the lives of both homeless and badly housed people…

you can help Shelter to help those most in need for as little as £5 a month.

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Support Shelter UK this Christmas

The Shelter UK big build up to Christmas is here and they want you can be a part of it. With the credit crunch biting the nation, Shelter will be working harder than ever to help families in desperate need to keep the roof over their heads.

The build up to Christmas is an exciting time, but not so happy for thousands of families around the UK facing the festive season in bad housing or homeless. 1.6million children will spend Christmas living below the poverty line, whilst 57,000 households in England alone will face the festive season homeless living in temporary accommodation.

Last Christmas, Shelter’s free national housing advice helpline answered an average of 101 calls each day.

The helpline will again be open over the Christmas period, as it has been for the last 10 years, to provide desperately needed support and advice.

Help Shelter UK This Christmas

There is a number of ways to help support Shelter this festive season. Carol singing, making a donation or sending Shelter Christmas cards. You can even add your company logo to our Christmas e-cards and show your clients and partners that you support Shelter, and that you are making a difference to the lives of people in difficulties.

> > click here to make a donation to Shelter UK

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