By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Shelter says high rents impact women with threat of homelessness

Shelter claims that women are impacted by homelessness more than men, and says rising private rents are a contributory factor.

In a new study Shelter says 60 per cent of all homeless adults living in temporary accommodation in England today are women, despite only making up 51 per cent of the general population.

The campaigning charity suggests women are more likely than men to have to tackle rising housing costs, with 69 per cent of women who rent privately worrying they wouldn’t be able to afford anywhere decent to live if their relationship broke down.


In the past decade, the number of homeless women living in temporary accommodation has almost doubled from 40,030 in 2011 to 75,410 today – a rise of 88 per cent.

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate says: “Women are bearing the brunt of our escalating housing crisis, and they are being failed at every turn. No mother should have to choose between buying food or paying her rent. No woman should have to stay with her abuser or face the streets.

“The hike in living costs and cuts to Universal Credit mean it’s only going to get tougher for thousands of women barely hanging on to their homes. It’s appalling women are being fobbed off by professionals who are supposed to help them, and it’s no wonder they feel scared and alone.

“If we’re going to turn back the tide on women’s homelessness, we need to listen to women and better understand their needs.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • icon

    What’s surprising about this nothing its a necessary prelude to get housed by the Council.
    I know a female who was well housed but decided to go on the Council, turned up at Civic Centre with 2 kids and wouldn’t leave even at closing time, she got housed. Another case I know of, got pregnant her partner owned his own Flat but wouldn’t let her in. However she got a job with a Housing Association & got housed through them, guess what he moved in with her and let out his own Flat.
    Why has the Article not mentioned the high costs imposed on private rented sector by Regulation and Licensing. So they force up rents by imposing huge costs, then complain about high Rents.

  • icon

    I note the mention of mums, my experience of renting to single mums has generally not been good, had one a few yrs ago wouldn't pay September's rent as she needed to buy her daughter's school uniform, she was gone by Christmas, others move their moron boyfriends in, best left to councils or housing associations to home

  • icon

    Having worked closely with the homeless sector for many years - a long time before it became a standard political "problem" I fully understand there has been and still remains a homeless problem - for whatever reason.
    Shelter has been in existence since 1966 and, one does have to ask why they have never applied to extend their remit to provide accommodation and/or hostels for the homeless which would be a natural progression for any organisation that wishes to improve the situation.
    There have been many homeless charities who have come and gone during that period of time so, Shelter, why don't you step up to the plate and, actually do something that will actually help some of those people - women and men - who need such help and approach Government for additional funding in order to provide hostels and the like instead of lambasting private Landlords as being part creators of the problem.

  • icon
    • 30 December 2021 09:54 AM

    "high rents" impacts everyone! Not just women. What about the lgbt? What about the pensioners? What about the disabled? Stop the discrimination Shelter! 🙄

  • icon

    The misrepresentation of stats by Shelter is astonishing even for them. 85-90% of homeless people are male, and yet 60% of those in a temporary housing (I.e. 60% of those that are actually being helped) are female.

    For every homeless female there are 8 homeless males, yet women are given 60% of the available temporary accommodation. And they are claiming women bare the brunt of rising costs. Well Shelter, many of the things you have campaigned for have contributed to those rising costs - increased welfare spending, extension of furlough, increased taxes, scrapping of fees to the tennant - all has to be paid for. Everything you demand, needs to be paid for and to think there will be no increased costs for renters down the line is naive at best. Actually Shelter are doing their best to ensure in the future there will be plenty more people wanting their help.

    A case in point is that now it is really tough to evict a bad tenant (a year of no rent, property gets trashed, threats to landlord etc) this in turn means landlords will make their properties a bit nicer, charge more rent and become far more risk averse in picking their next tenant. In the past, landlords would take a chance on vulnerable tenants, but now the stakes are too high. Well done shelter.

  •  G romit

    Polly Neate unsurprisingly fails to mention Shelters role in driving up rents by its campaigning to increase Landlords costs and taxes. And driving up homelessnes by driving Landlords out of the market resulting in evictions as properties get sold & fewer poperties available to rent.


    Agreed - we too, along with some other landlords in the PRS, are reducing our portfolio.

  • icon

    Steve Austin - we agree 100 per cent. We had a ‘tenant from hell’ in one of our shared properties. Tenant receiving rent from Universal Credit and keeping it for his personal spends. We reported it to Universal Credit (when we finally managed to get through) eventually had the last 2 month’s rent paid directly to us, but, when the tenant finally gone, Universal Credit said they would NOT be chasing him up for the £1000s of pounds he kept and we could not claim the outstanding rent from them either. Win, win, win for the ‘Tenant from Hell’. That was the last time we rented to a ‘vulnerable tenant’. Now we do not offer tenancies to anyone (no matter how in need they may be) unless they pass all our usual reference and credit checks.


    Agreed, we've all been caught over the yrs by these types, vulnerable tenants are no longer accepted, leave them to councils or housing associations who deserve them

  • icon

    Shelter’s website says it tackles the root cause of Homelessness, should that be they are the root cause.

  • icon

    Polly with a rather neat soun bite, pleasing the Prime Ministers wife, and big business who dont want any competition in the BTL business. Polly with an unsolvable problem, giving her years of well paid work!


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up