Monday, 30 November 2015

Shelter forced to close advice offices

Homelessness charity Shelter is being forced to press ahead with closing 10 of its housing advice offices in England because of legal aid cuts.

The organisation expects this could mean up to 100 redundancies but said it was ‘doing everything we can to keep the numbers as low as possible’.

Government cuts to legal aid will mean a 50 per cent reduction in funding for the charity’s face-to-face advice services.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said:  ‘This is a result of the huge cuts to legal aid in England, which we campaigned vigorously against. 

‘The cuts have meant some difficult decisions about how we best use the resources we have to help those in housing need. While service closures are absolutely a last resort, we simply cannot fill the gap created by the scale of these cuts with other sources.’

Staff have already been notified of the closures and Shelter is currently consulting with them.

Mr Robb added: ‘If these services do have to close, this will be a massive blow to people in these areas who will no longer be able to get face-to-face advice and support from Shelter.

‘We will be doing all we can to ensure people around the country can still get help with their housing problems through our helpline and website.’

The government is looking at cutting the £2 billion legal aid bill by £350 million a year by 2014/15.

The Shelter offices are in Rotherham, Ashford, Chatham, Dover, Milton Keynes, Cheshire, Gloucester, Somerset, Hertfordshire and Cumbria.

Newsletter Sign-up



  • Shelter warns of £2.5bn RTB deficit

    17 September 2015

    Sales of empty high-value council homes will not raise enough money to fund the Right to Buy extension and other housing policies, leaving the Treasury with a £2.5bn deficit, Shelter has claimed.

  • Investment enables offices to homes conversion

    26 August 2015

    A Bristol community group set up to convert empty office buildings into affordable housing has secured a £425,000 mortgage to fund its first scheme.

  • Close to a third of starts for rental

    31 July 2015

    Around 29% of housing starts in the first quarter of 2015 were homes developed specifically for rent, a new report backed by the British Property Federation has said.

  • Derivatives prompt close regulatory scrutiny

    8 April 2015

    The Scottish housing watchdog will keep a close eye on social landlords with complex financial instruments, following similar regulatory concern in England.

  • Shelter staff strike suspended

    16 December 2014

    A strike at homelessness charity Shelter has been suspended following last-ditch negotiations.

IH Subscription