By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Shelter lobbies politicians with ‘rental plan to end homelessness’

Shelter is calling for the construction of 90,000 rental properties each year for a decade - and it claims this would “help end homelessness.”

New research carried out by data firm CEBR on behalf of Shelter and the National Housing Federation says such a programme would add £51.2 billion to the UK economy, including £12 billion profit to the taxpayer.

The properties would be for social renting  which Shelter says is the only genuinely affordable housing, as rents are tied to local incomes. “On average, social rents are around 50 per cent cheaper than private rents” claims the charity.


The research suggests that an annual build of 90,000 would directly support nearly 140,000 jobs in the first year alone. Within three years, the wider economic benefits of building the homes would break even and return £37.8 billion to the economy, largely by boosting the construction industry.  

It’s also claimed there would be savings on housing benefit, Universal Credit, employment taxes and other spending.

Shelter says that for decades, successive governments have failed to build enough social homes and every year more are lost  through Right To Buy sales and demolitions. 

Last year alone, there was a net loss of nearly 11,700 social homes, while 1.3m households are on social housing waiting lists in England. 

Ahead of the general election, Shelter and the NHF are calling for political parties to commit to the programme.

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate says: “Homelessness is a political choice, with a simple solution. Building 90,000 social homes a year will not only end the housing emergency, but due to the wider economic benefits it brings, it will pay for itself within just three years.  

Day after day our frontline services are inundated with calls from people who are being tipped into homelessness because there are no genuinely affordable homes available and private renting is just too expensive. 

“Communities are being torn apart as people are priced out of their local areas - leaving behind their jobs, children’s schools and support networks.  

“It doesn’t have to be this way. A safe and secure social home will give people a place to thrive – improving their health and access to work and education. All political parties must make the choice to end the housing emergency - they must fully commit to building 90,000 new genuinely affordable social rent homes a year for ten years.”

  • icon

    With Shelter's very considerable revenue they could start the project themselves.

    What, you don't want to do that Polly? Hmmm, interesting. So it's 'Do as I say' then?


    What?😱 Risk their own money and become landlords? 😂 Then regret campaigning to abolish Section 21? 😢. Are you mad? It would, however, be a delicious irony seeing Polly Bleat as a landlord.

  • Billy the Fish

    Rather than continually attacking landlords and agents, most of whom provide safe homes and a good service, I am glad Shelter has finally discovered the solution to the problem which was essentially started by Thatcher's Right to Buy scheme and continued by both parties since then. The main issue being few if any local authorities replaced each sold unit 1 for 1 as they were legally bound to do, and there was no regulatory body ensuring they did this either. The end result is what we see today with low income earners suffering the most and homelessness on the rise each year.
    Ending the housing crisis was calculated as costing £12bill for 10 years of building social housing back in 2015 I think, but much like climate change and biodiversity loss if it doesn't make money no growth based party will be interested, period.
    How far we have come? How far we have moved away from caring about each other more like.

  • icon

    Local authorities in London built twice as many council homes than the rest of the country combined last year, with a paltry 11,000 new council homes. The right to buy sell off made £47 billion for governments which has now resulted in over 29% of all children living in poverty.

    74% of private rental tenants say they find it easy to pay rent; and they provide more homes to ethnic communities than government controlled social housing.

    Shelter call for 90,000 homes a year. It's easy to call 10 Downing St with megaphone while sitting at a desk. However I cannot think of any additional home Shelter have created using their megaphone tactics.

    The truth is the government are selling off house faster than building them. Yes, it's very easy for Shelter to call for 90,000 homes a year. Uninformed calling will not change anything.

    Meanwhile the private rental sector,
    rather than sitting in chairs, provides over 4.2M homes, and their patience is increasingly being lost with charity bleating and draconian regulation. If landlords effectively no longer own their homes after next year it is probable a further 2M homes will be sold off over the next 5 years leaving the rental sector even more perilous than before.

    So, the government will continue to sell homes using RTB and PRS will begin to sell off and invest elsewhere as the government and charities pursue them with rude articles, draconian regulation and increasing bankruptcy.

    Yes, it's easy for Shelter to call. But so far, their calling has only led to greater children poverty and less homes for the poor. Had they worked hand in hand with the PRS the future may have been brighter for 4.2M children now living in poverty.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up