Policy library

Policy, research and good practice work forms a major part of Shelter's efforts to address and find solutions for homelessness and housing issues. In this section you can browse through the reports, factsheets, briefings and policy consultation responses that we produce.

All policy documents

Report: Affordability for first time buyers

Applicable to: England
Published:  February 2015

It is now widely accepted that we have a desperate housing shortage in England. Each year, we build at least 100,000 fewer homes than we need and the extent of the housing shortage only increases. With this shortage has come very high house prices, making it difficult – and sometimes impossible – for first time buyers to become home owners. This research demonstrates how affordability for first time buyers has changed over the decades from 1969 through to 2013, how first time buyers have paid for the rise in house prices, and how this has changed first time buyers themselves. Read summary and download 

What happens when there aren't enough homes?

Applicable to: 
Published:  February 2015

This briefing looks at one of the most shocking consequences of our housing shortage: homelessness. The acute lack of affordable homes affects millions of us – whether we face being priced out of homeownership, are forced to pay unaffordable rents, or find ourselves with nowhere to go. But it’s the thousands of homeless children spending their childhoods in insecure, cramped accommodation, who really pay the price. The solution to the housing crisis is simple, but won’t be easy to achieve: the government must urgently build more genuinely affordable homes, where they are needed most. Read summary and download 

Briefing: Changing attitudes to building more homes

Applicable to: England
Published:  January 2015

This new polling shows that as anxiety about housing has risen, local opposition to new house building has declined across all ages, regions and voter groups. Read summary and download 

Response: Starter Homes for First Time Buyers

Applicable to: England
Published:  January 2015

Shelter welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) consultation on 'Starter Homes'. At Shelter we are in contact with millions of people every year through our front-line advice services, help-line and website who need our specialist housing advice and support. We are hearing more and more from people are struggling with the cost and availability of homes in their local area. That's why we are campaigning for all political parties to commit to building the homes we need to address our massive housing shortage, which has built up under successive governments. Read summary and download 

Report: A home of their own

Applicable to: England
Published:  January 2015

Buying their own home is an aspiration that many young people hope to fulfil one day. It is a milestone for many people that they hope will provide security for their future. However, the failure of successive governments to build enough affordable homes for decades and rising house prices has meant that home ownership has become a dream rather than a reality for a lot of young people. This has resulted with them either living back with their parents or spending many years in the expensive and unstable private rented sector. Read summary and download 

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