Is Shelter a charity?

Is Shelter a charity?

10:59 AM, 20th November 2018, About 4 years ago 35

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Or is it a commercial enterprise, a sub-contractor to government or a left-wing pressure group financed by the general public?

The answer to all of these is yes. In the year to March 2017 Shelter received £2.1m from legal services contracts, and £2.5m from advising advisers on behalf of the government:

“Shelter received £2,494,000 in funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government to deliver the National Homelessness Advice Service to Local Authorities, Citizens Advice in England, and other local and national voluntary advice organisations. The overall aims of the project are to enable frontline providers to deliver good quality housing and homelessness advice, and support and facilitate the prevention of homelessness where possible.”

However, does it provide shelter? No, it’s not that kind of charity.

Let Shelter explain what it spends your money on:

“What we do

Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through our advice, support and legal services. And we campaign to make sure that, one day, no one will have to turn to us for help (emphasis added)”. Click here

But does Shelter do good works? You can’t tell from the accounts. These are opaque, and just divide the expenditure into vague headings. In the year to March 2017 it spent £33.2 million on “Housing advice and support”. It doesn’t give a sub-total, you have to add the items up yourself, but you will scour the annual report in vain for what they mean by support.

The expenditure under “Housing advice and support” is made up of:

Shelter received £17.9m for this from the government, Local Authorities, the lottery and other agencies.  The other £19.1m was financed by donations and legacies and so was the £5.9m that was spent on Research, Policy and Campaigning.

People who donate or bequeath money to Shelter thinking it will house someone are in fact paying for the new management’s campaign of harassment of letting agents and its lobbying in support of legislation that will drive private landlords out of the market, reducing the supply of rented housing.

What irony.


Annie Landlord

17:47 PM, 23rd November 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 22/11/2018 - 12:56
Absolutely. But isn't that how the world turns? How many posts do we see on 118 saying "I just had to tell you about the lovely family renting my semi in Wonderton-on-Sea"? We post, seek advice and support when something goes wrong. When things are going well people don't contact agencies.

Seething Landlord

18:13 PM, 23rd November 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Appalled Landlord at 23/11/2018 - 17:19
I assume that you are referring to my suggestion that Shelter is not a commercial organisation. I can do no better than quote from Collins English Dictionary
"Commercial organizations and activities are concerned with making money or profits, rather than, for example, with scientific research or providing a public service."
So by definition a non-profit making charity is not a commercial organisation.

Seething Landlord

18:18 PM, 23rd November 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Annie Landlord at 23/11/2018 - 17:47
Yes, quite so.


18:27 PM, 23rd November 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 23/11/2018 - 18:13
My property business makes no profit especially when sec.24 is fully phased in (it's all paid to me) but I do not consider it a non-commercial business and I certainly would not think it qualifies to apply to become a charity.

Chris @ Possession Friend

19:33 PM, 23rd November 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Annie Landlord at 22/11/2018 - 11:49
I wouldn't go so far as to say attacking the PRS is reasonable. Lets be fair, government pay ( some benefit, although not enough to house 000,000's ) and the PRS do the accommodation.
So there are only two possible parties to blame.
The govt pays shelter millions a year, so Shelter can hardly criticise the hand that feeds it, so
Guess who's left, you, me and all the other muggins - Landlords

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