Great British Property Scandal launches

5 December 2011

Great British Property Scandal logo

Channel 4 has launched The Great British Property Scandal, a season of special programmes to investigate the housing crisis and consider possible solutions.

The season starts on Monday 5 December when broadcaster and journalist Jon Snow continues his investigation into the reality of life for people who live in the private rented sector, in Dispatches: Landlords from Hell.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s Chief Executive, said: ‘Dispatches: Landlords from Hell further exposes the reality that rogue landlords are out there and they’re getting away with it.

‘Every day at Shelter we see the devastating impact these landlords have on peoples’ lives as families remain trapped in homes that cause misery and, in some cases, put lives at risk.

‘What’s more we believe thousands more families could suffer as changes in the Localism Act will see councils placing more vulnerable homeless households in private rented housing.

‘Councils have the powers to tackle rogue landlords but too many aren’t making the most of their armoury. We urge them to follow the lead of those councils taking a zero tolerance approach to rogue landlords to help drive them out for good.’

Empty homes

The series also addresses the issue of Britain’s empty homes. Architect and long-standing Shelter supporter George Clarke is campaigning to bring empty homes back into use as a step towards solving the housing crisis.

To find out how many empty homes there are compared to housing need in your area, use Shelter’s interactive  map

Campbell Robb said: ‘Bringing empty homes back into use could help to ease our desperate shortage of housing, and Channel 4’s empty homes programme will make a huge difference in highlighting the housing crisis we currently face.’

Channel 4’s survey for The Great British Property Scandal season found that:

  • 59% of renters don’t believe they will ever be able to afford to buy a home
  • 76% of British adults say they agree that Britain is in a housing crisis
  • 63% say they do not believe that housing will become more affordable over the next two years.

Mr Robb commented: 'These findings illustrate the scale and severity of the housing crisis that faces our country. Huge swathes of the population are completely priced out of the housing market, thousands of families are left struggling in an unstable and unaffordable private rented sector, and homelessness is rising.

'The sad reality is every two minutes someone in Britain faces the nightmare of losing their home, and it really can happen to anyone one as all it takes is one thing to tip people into a downward spiral. Bold and radical action is urgently needed to solve a housing crisis that’s been decades in the making.'