Shelter misleading the public about its finances

Shelter misleading the public about its finances

9:55 AM, 10th October 2018, About 4 years ago 16

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If you search on Shelter’s website for Annual Report you will be given a link with that name which takes you to a page called “How we spend your money”

This states, “For every £1 you donate 79p is spent directly on helping people through advice, support and campaigning 21p is spent on fundraising.” Click here

Below this claim is a link to download the annual report for the year to March 2017.

On page 58 (digital page 29) of this, in the section headed “Other information”, the auditors state that they have to check that other information in the annual report is consistent with the audited accounts.

So it’s just as well that the 21p claim is not in the annual report, because the accounts show that it cost £11.0 million to obtain £33.2 million in donations and legacies, which is 33p in the pound.

Below the download button is a pie chart called “How we raise money”. This shows that 15% of their “money” comes from Shelter shops. This makes them seem a significant source of income for the “charity”.

However, they are careful not to call it “income”, and if they had called it “receipts” it might have begged the question of what outgoings were involved, so “money” is a cunning choice of word.

A previous article showed how the cost of shops and their 177 employees cost 92.5p for every £1 of sales: Click Here

The auditors do not let them get away with this trickery in the annual report. A pie chart of expenditure is shown alongside the one for income.

In this comparison, the shops are credited with 14% of Shelter’s “income” and debited with 12% of its expenditure. However, the percentages are put in different segments of the charts, and the credit is in the strongest colour while the debit is in the weakest colour, so the expenditure figure might still be overlooked by a casual reader, leaving him or her with the wrong impression of the contribution from the shops.

A previous article asked whether the truth did not matter to Shelter: Click Here

This included Greg Beales, the Director of Communication, claiming on TV that “people on benefits are very good tenants, landlords make as much profit from people who are on benefits as landlords make from people who aren’t on benefits”.

Beales is a former Downing Street adviser to Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, and formerly Director of Strategy and Planning for the Labour Party.

Subsequently, Polly Neate, the CEO said on TV “These so-called Section 21 evictions, or no-fault evictions, meaning no fault on behalf of the tenant, are actually the single biggest cause of homelessness in the country now.” Click Here

This was in spite of Shelter’s own web page that gives the lie to her claim: Click Here

Is it my imagination, or has the level of deceit increased since these two were appointed in August/September last year?


Larry Sweeney

10:40 AM, 10th October 2018, About 4 years ago

This is a terrible organisation. The CEO pockets £120k Per annum and they house nobody. Shelter foment distrust between landlords and tenants and continually blame the housing crisis on landlords who evict tenants who default on rent. Shelter sucks in approx. £60 million of tax payers cash. This money could be used in some cities to purchase 600 terraces annually and house 600 families. The Charity Commission and government need to step up to the plate urgently . This organisation should not have charity status and funding of their negative hate campaign stopped forthwith.


17:17 PM, 10th October 2018, About 4 years ago

Shelter are involved in the £28m Housing First project which focuses on housing people with "Multiple Complex Needs".
The first pilots for this scheme were in Manchester, Liverpool and West Midlands. The objective of the scheme is to house people in the first instance and then working to address their
problems, however the tenants are not compelled to undertake treatment or therapy as a condition of the tenancy.
They are now advertising for staff to run this project in my town on the south coast.

Appalled Landlord

0:04 AM, 11th October 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by LANDLORD 35 at 10/10/2018 - 17:17
In what way is Shelter involved?

Dr Rosalind Beck

9:12 AM, 11th October 2018, About 4 years ago

Excellent, clear analysis.

Shelter uses the classic ploy of attacking others in order to keep attention from their own deficits. Imagine an employee explaining what they do, to a stranger. 'Uh, no we don't provide actual shelter, but we really go for those who do.'


9:29 AM, 11th October 2018, About 4 years ago

There has been a great deal of comment and excellent analysis on this site such as this article concerning Shelter and its activities and misdeeds, but there is little chance of change by simply complaining amongst ourselves. The vast majority of Shelter's funding is derived from public sources - Government and Local Government. What is required is a properly focused campaign to persuade Ministers, MP's and Councillors that this funding is inappropriate and is being misused. Such funding, if applied elsewhere, could produce real benefits to alleviate housing problems.


9:44 AM, 11th October 2018, About 4 years ago

It’s disappointing that Shelter’s auditors have agreed to Shelter presenting information in the accounts/annual report which could be misinterpreted by the reader. The auditor should be stronger about this and maybe, not be dictated to by their client!


10:10 AM, 11th October 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Phil Ireland at 11/10/2018 - 09:44
With the media interest in alleged failings of audit firms being high at present and Shelter being a charity mainly funded by public bodies Phil's comment is very much on point. This could be used to cause the auditors to take a much tougher line with Shelter and widen the media interest in what Shelter actually does with the very substantial sums it receives.


10:32 AM, 11th October 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Phil Ireland at 11/10/2018 - 09:44
Phil - Why ? The auditor wants to get paid doesn't he ? And he wants the business next year ?

Peter Poupard

10:57 AM, 11th October 2018, About 4 years ago

This article proves the need for a new landlord body that truly represents landlords to be established such as the new body Larry Sweeney is proposing. If Shelter were to be the subject of its first campaign it would go someway to dealing with the housing crisis and the problems facing renters and landlords.
As well addressing the hypercritical press releases put out by Shelter for a landlord body to be seen as supporting good tenants can only be to the good of all good landlords. In the meantime perhaps landlords should start addressing their MPs and bringing the farce that is Shelter to their attention. I will certainly be writing to my MP, for what he's worth!!


11:13 AM, 11th October 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Peter Poupard at 11/10/2018 - 10:57The scandal of Shelter is not that it is attacking landlords, but that it is doing so as a smokescreen to cover up its own inadequacies and waste of public money. What is required is a detailed analysis and then all members to put that individually to their MP's and Councillors. Certainly any association purporting to represent landlords should be challenging Shelter and exposing its activities, but the matter is of equal interest to those needing decent homes and members of the public providing funding to Shelter directly and indirectly. It would be interesting to ask members of the public what they think Shelter actually does and achieves and where its money comes from and how it is spent. This would make an interesting topic for any reporter to develop. Does anyone have any good contact in the media who may take this up?

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