Chief Executive of Shelter answers your questions | Social Housing

Polly Neate is the Chief Executive of Shelter. This charity helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through their advice, support and legal services.

Would you like to help raise money for Shelter and help their cause? With Christmas fast approaching, Shelter is asking you to wear your slippers to school for Shelter on 8 December. Ask your teacher to take part and show them this website where you can find lots more information!

 

Is it fair that some people - very lucky people - have got the opportunity to have a roof over their heads while other people have a sky over their head?

From: Priceless Bunnie | Elaine Primary Academy

It's terribly unfair. It's one of the great social injustices of our time and it's the reason why Shelter exists. Actually, I don't think having a roof over your head should be seen as "lucky". It's a human right. Sleeping rough is dangerous in many ways - it affects people's health, mentally and physically, they are likely to be attacked, and find it impossible ever to truly rest. I can't imagine what it must be like, to be honest. However, it's also very important to remember that people sleeping on the streets are not the only ones who are homeless. There are 300,000 homeless people in the country at this moment, and most of them - especially the children - are living in temporary accommodation which is often very unsuitable, and which they know isn't really their home. They often have to live in just one room for their whole family, and share a bed with their brothers and sisters. Often they're not allowed to have any friends over and there's nowhere to play. Sometimes several families have to share one bathroom and toilet, and share a kitchen as well. There's no privacy, nowhere to do your homework. That's not a home. It might be a roof over their heads, but for these children and adults, it's not what we would call a home. Above all, these children often don't feel safe where they live. That's totally unacceptable.

It is incredibly hard to decide what the best thing to do is. I live in an area where there is lots of social housing being knocked down and I wonder; where the tenants will go?

From: PeperamiMan | Michael Faraday School

Sometimes people who live in social housing will be given another home if their building is knocked down. Hopefully the reason it's being knocked down is to build better quality housing. I really hope that's the case where you live - although it is a real worry that if new homes are built they won't be homes that ordinary people can afford. It often happens that when new houses are built they are far too expensive and only quite rich people can afford them. There is a severe shortage of social housing at the moment, and at Shelter we are putting pressure on the government to build more.

"I don't think having a roof over your head should be seen as "lucky". It's a human right."

Polly Neate, Shelter

Should you accept the first house given to you? Hi, it's Catmad. In school we've also been looking at Social Housing. We were writing a balanced argument on a chosen question. I chose the one above. What I thought was that although it could hold people up being choosy, you may have a NEED not a WANT. Gandhi once quoted 'The world had enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed'. I think that is the biggest problem with Social Housing. If you have a NEED you have a right to have that NEED fulfilled. What do you think, considering all the points?

From: Catmad | Allhallows Primary Academy

At Shelter we help thousands of people who are offered a home that doesn't meet their needs. People and families are different, and what sometimes looks like a "want" is really a "need". For example, if you're a family of five, it's not likely that a two bedroom house will meet your needs. If you earn £500 per week and you're offered a home that costs £600 a week, then it doesn't meet your needs. If you use a wheelchair, you need a home on the ground floor. Families need somewhere to live that is safe for children and gives their children a decent start in life. In a country as rich as Britain, we could easily afford this. We shouldn't be forcing people to choose between eating and paying their rent, or between buying their children's school uniform and heating their home. As a society we should be able to meet everyone's fundamental needs and rights. And we should want to.

Do you think housing should be left in the care of the individual, or with the government?

From: NellieBly:the2nd | Graveney School

Most people in our country can find their own home. However, because the cost of housing has risen so much in the last few years, there are more and more people who simply can't afford anywhere to live. At Shelter we believe it's important that the government is prepared to step in and help them, because having thousands of homeless people is simply unacceptable. We believe that the government should build more homes, because there is a desperate shortage, and also help people to pay their rent if they are in danger of being homeless because the cost of a home has become so expensive. The government should stop people becoming homeless - it's fundamental to a fair society.

30 Comments

  1. Allhallows Primary Academy Allhallows Primary Academy

    social housing is a major problem in our society, but is there anything we can do about it? also do you think we need to help more because we should all be there to help and work together. So what can we do to help others?
    Crystaleclipse

  2. Allhallows Primary Academy Allhallows Primary Academy

    Does social housing ever affect the people around the area that are not bothered about this crisis? not everyone has any need for social housing but can housing others ever affect people already homed?
    crystaleclipse

  3. John Ruskin Primary School John Ruskin Primary School

    Why doesn’t the government make houses 50% or above in social hosing then, it there’s space left, they could make the private landlord/private owned? Knighthunter24

  4. Hi BNC members,

    How great it is that Polly Neate, who is in charge at Shelter, has taken the time to respond to us?

    Let Polly know what parts of her answers you found interesting and why. Do you want to challenge or develop anything Polly has said?

    I found the information about temporary accommodation really interesting. It made me realise how safe I feel in my own home and that people often take this for granted.

    – Tiff at The Foundation

  5. Dear Polly Neate,
    How do you keep track of the amount of people living on the streets and facing problems with social housing?
    *CheesePuff14

  6. St Mary's and St John's Church of England School St Mary's and St John's Church of England School

    What if some people don’t want to get involved? Then there might be some complaints how are we going to solve that issue?

    chocolateunicorn21

  7. St Peter's Primary School St Peter's Primary School

    why do some people not want their social house?

    comedy11

  8. St Gregory's Catholic Primary School St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

    Why are we wearing slippers for a whole day at school?
    blueunicorn

  9. St Gregory's Catholic Primary School St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

    who should give you a home the government or your parents?

    by purplegymnasticspand009

  10. St Gregory's Catholic Primary School St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

    Who came up with the idea and why?
    blueunicorn

  11. St Gregory's Catholic Primary School St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

    why cant you make a big houses for everyone so they can stay there while they are waiting for a house?

    by pizzadancer22

  12. St Gregory's Catholic Primary School St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

    Why are there some houses which are empty and no one is using them. If they can’t afford it they should make the houses cheaper.
    Why are they doing this?

  13. St Gregory's Catholic Primary School St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

    you can make a big house

    like an orphanage or a prizion without sells with rooms some think as big as that

    by goalie

  14. St Gregory's Catholic Primary School St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

    have you ever been homeless before?

    from hungry wolf 🙂

  15. St Gregory's Catholic Primary School St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

    Why doesnt everyone have a roof over their head? Everyone should have a roof over their head.

    By Greencat

  16. St Gregory's Catholic Primary School St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

    is it lucky to have a roof over your head although it’s a human right?
    shreckbox1804

    why do you want to be the Chief Executive of Shelter?
    ogaremoji27

  17. St Gregory's Catholic Primary School St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

    What exactly gave the specific idea to start this business?
    Was someone you know homeless or did you just suddenly get the idea?
    By tealwolf.

  18. St Gregory's Catholic Primary School St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

    I want to know why cant there be another shelter instead of houses?

    Why do the government want houses if we can be in a shelter . It would be the same wouldn`t it? If you agree please tell me why and if you don`t tell me why .
    i would love to help any charity it goes to a nice cause .Also i would love to because it will help the homeless to have a nicer life
    pandaboy

  19. St Gregory's Catholic Primary School St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

    i think The government

    pandaboy

  20. St Gregory's Catholic Primary School St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

    St Gregory’s are going to take part in Slippers for Shelter on the 8th of December. Our BNC are organising the day.

    unicornburger

    • This is great news! Well done St Gregory’s BNC. Let us know how it goes, we would love to see some photos of you in your slippers for Shelter! Olivia

  21. Willowtown Primary School Willowtown Primary School

    I think that people who is homeless should have a social house off the government
    by unicornpower468

  22. Willowtown Primary School Willowtown Primary School

    Personaly i think the goverment beacause its not up to evreybody to take care of the homeless also the concil she get in vollved in my opinion

    By sassy savage princess

  23. Willowtown Primary School Willowtown Primary School

    should get invollved

    by sassy savage princess

  24. John Ruskin Primary School John Ruskin Primary School

    Why doesn’t the government make 30.c normal houses and 20.c private housing and 50.c social housing to make it easier
    For people who are homeless . And moving people to different countries would be the worst idea because it moves people to
    places that they don’t know.

    Starrainbow

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