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Shelter reacts to government U-turns on no fault eviction ban and social housing

Posted 11 Oct 2022

Osama Bhutta, Director of Campaigns at Shelter, said: “Make no mistake, a government U-turn on banning no fault evictions will pour fuel on the housing emergency and make thousands homeless.

”The Prime Minister has no mandate to shred manifesto commitments and turn her back on 11 million private renters. Nor does she have the right to betray over a million households stuck on social housing waiting lists by slashing the already tiny number of social homes that get built.

“The government should be doing all it can to build the stable, genuinely affordable homes this country needs, but it’s doing the opposite. No one wants to see people unfairly evicted, and no one wants to see homelessness surge in a cost of living crisis. The government must change its mind, it can do it now or do it after grasping the anger of millions of people.”

To support its response, Shelter has released damning research on extent of the housing emergency. It shows:

  • New data from the charity’s cost of living tracker reveals nearly 350,000 private renting adults in England were served with an eviction notice, evicted or removed from their home between July and August 2022. This includes nearly 70,000 families.[1]

  • Shelter’s analysis of DHLUC data on affordable housing supply shows that out of the 2,825 social rent homes delivered through S106 agreements last year, one in five (565) could be lost if the ‘small sites’ threshold was increased to 50 units. [2]

  • According to the latest government data there are 1.2 million households on social housing waiting lists in England, while only 6,051 new social rent homes were built last year and more than three times as many social homes were lost (21,248) through demolitions and sales. [3]

  • Research carried out by Stack Data Strategy illustrates the strength of public feeling on the housing emergency, with 82% of British adults agreeing that more people will become homeless because of the cost of living crisis.[2] And almost as many (81%) saying the cost of living crisis has made it more urgent for the government to fix the country’s housing problems.[4]


Notes to editors:

1. Figures are based on a YouGov survey for Shelter of 2,031 Private Renters in England, 645 of whom had children in the household. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29 July and 17 August 2022. The survey was carried out Online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all private renting adults in England (aged 16+). Population figures have been calculated by Shelter using English Housing Survey data. The survey was funded by Nationwide.

% of private renting adultsNumber of private renting adults% of private renting familiesNumber of private renting families
Net: Private renters who say they have been evicted through the courts, moved out after receiving an eviction notice, received a formal eviction notice or been removed from their home 4.3% 348,682 5.4% 69,809

2. The government estimated that we would see a reduction of between 10% and 20% of section 106 affordable housing delivery if the ‘small sites’ exemption was increased to 50 units. Assuming this affects all affordable housing tenures equally, a 50-unit threshold could lead to a reduction of up to 565 social rent homes in a year. Shelter analysis of 2020/21 DLUHC data: DLUHC, Live tables on affordable housing supply, Live Table 1000C

3. DLUHC, Table 600: Live tables on rents, lettings and tenancies. DLUHC, Live tables on social housing sales, Table 678 and Table 684. DLUHC, Live tables on affordable housing supply, Table 1000C.

4. On behalf of Shelter, Stack polled a representative sample of 10,000 adults across Great Britain. Fieldwork was conducted between the 9th and 20th September 2022, and was weighted to age and gender interlocked, education status, region and vote in the 2019 UK General Election.

% of GB adults
Net agree with the statement ‘More people will become homeless because of the cost of living crisis’82%
Has the cost of living crisis made it more or less urgent for the Government to fix the country’s housing problems? Net: Urgent81%

About Shelter: Shelter exists to defend the right to a safe home and fight the devastating impact the housing emergency has on people and society. Shelter believes that home is everything. Learn more at