Our impact

Shelter exists to fight for all those whose lives are blighted by the loss of their home – and all whose lives will be affected if things don’t change. Last year, we gave information, support, and advice to millions of people facing homelessness or experiencing bad housing.

Our impact

Shelter exists to fight for all those whose lives are blighted by the loss of their home – and all whose lives will be affected if things don’t change. Last year, we gave information, support, and advice to millions of people facing homelessness or experiencing bad housing.

In 2020/21, our Helpline team gave advice to

22,644 households


18,590 households were seen by our hubs’ face-to-face services

Our online advice and services pages received

6.5 million visits last year


We had 19,170 conversations on our webchat service

15,212

queries were responded to by our professional advice services

2,105

households worked with our legal advice service

9,592

people were helped by our offender services

2,050

advice queries were handled through social media

The top five reasons people sought help through social media in 2020/21 were:

  • homelessness

  • exploring options to find, keep or improve their home

  • eviction

  • finances (Universal Credit or affordability issues)

  • disrepair, damp and mould.


We exist to defend the right to a safe home and fight the devastating impact the housing emergency has on people and society

Protecting renters during the coronavirus outbreak

Our services reported that despite lockdown, people were being evicted with nowhere to go. In response, alongside other renting campaigning groups, we ran a campaign calling on the government to ban evictions during the pandemic. The government responded to the public pressure with various protections – including an eviction ban, which was extended multiple times throughout the year.

Supporting strategic litigation

Our strategic litigation teams use their expertise to bring cases to court where winning one case can change thousands of lives. In 2020/21, we successfully intervened in a case against Brighton & Hove Council. Timon Ncube had been made to sleep on the street during
the pandemic after the council turned him away, citing that he was not eligible for homelessness assistance.

Working for change in our communities

Last year, Community Organisers worked with local communities to identify key issues and create manifestos with calls to action put to mayoral candidates in local elections.

In Birmingham, we focused on pushing for more social housing. In Hackney, we worked with people in temporary accommodation to map out what would make the most difference to their everyday lives. Next, we will use the programme to mobilise renters across the country in support of our Renters’ Reform Bill campaign.

Download our Impact Report to read more about how we make a difference