Shelter responds to the 2021 Autumn Budget and Spending Review

Posted 27 Oct 2021

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Housing costs are almost every family’s biggest outgoing and their biggest worry – but there was very little in the Chancellor’s budget to lighten that load. With no plan and no new money to build enough truly affordable social homes, thousands of families will remain caught in a relentless struggle to keep a roof over their heads.

“While lowering the taper rate to allow people in work to keep hold of a bit more Universal Credit is really good, it won’t reach all of the five million families hit by the recent UC cut, and it doesn’t help people unable to work because they are sick, disabled or have young children to look after.

“The government cannot level up this country if it keeps missing opportunities to sort out the housing crisis. Until it commits to building 90,000 green social homes a year, families are going to continue to face the agonising choice of whether to put food on the table or pay the rent.”


Notes to editors:

Additional statistics showing the burden housing costs are placing on renters’ budgets: 

  • Recent Shelter research shows 21% of adult renters in England – equivalent to 1.8 million households –regularly cut back on household essentials like food or heating to pay the rent. [Figures taken from on online YouGov survey, on behalf of Shelter, of 3,197 renting adults (18+) in England living in private or social rented homes - conducted between 6-14 April 2021] 

  • Recent Shelter research also revealed over a third of private renters (36%) in England - two million households - now receive housing benefit to help pay their rent – up from 25% before the pandemic in February 2020. [Figures taken from Department for Work and Pension, Universal Credit and Housing Benefit statistics, Statexplore, accessed August 2021.] 

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