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 2019/20, our Helpline team gave advice to

34,051 households


25,380 households were seen by our hubs’ face-to-face services

Our online advice and services pages received

6.8 million visits last year


We had 37,179 conversations on our webchat service

15,601

queries were responded to by our professional advice services

6,057

households worked with our legal advice service

14,121

people were helped by our offender services

2,661

advice queries were handled through social media

The top five reasons people sought help through social media in 2019/20 were:

  • eviction

  • homelessness

  • disrepair

  • general housing options

  • coronavirus-related issues

This year, we continued to achieve important policy changes that improved the lives of thousands of people. Together with our supporters, we’re building a movement for change to fight social injustice and defend the right to a safe home.

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 2019/20, we brought a series of cases to highlight the unlawful nature of ‘No DSS’ practice, supporting several Shelter clients to win legal settlements from letting agents who had discriminated against them.

Building on our Big Conversation

Building on our Big Conversation, social housing was central to Shelter’s campaign during the 2019 General Election. We continued to build support with our Social Housing Petition (now nearing 100,000 signatures), and established the Housing Emergency Response Operation (HEROs) network – a thriving group of over 1,000 very active supporters.

No excuse for ‘No DSS’

It’s been another big year for our campaign to end discrimination against tenants who receive housing benefit. In February 2020, we published our guide for the lettings industry on ending DSS discrimination, and we also launched calls for OpenRent, one of the UK’s largest online letting agents, to end DSS discrimination on their platform.

Campaigners outside the Houses of Parliament wearing Shelter t-shirts look into the camera

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