Shelter, a prominent charity renowned for its campaigning efforts, has recently posted a job opportunity for a senior role within their organization. The position, officially titled Director of Communications, Policy, and Campaigns, comes with an enticing salary of £108,000. This opportunity is being promoted as an ideal fit for a seasoned senior leader who is actively seeking the most thrilling and fulfilling role in their career journey.
In the job advertisement, Shelter emphasizes the significance of this position, portraying it as a pivotal role within the organization. The Director of Communications, Policy, and Campaigns is expected to play a crucial role in shaping and steering the charity’s initiatives. Shelter envisions this role as a dynamic and challenging opportunity, suitable for an experienced leader ready to take on a new and exciting chapter in their professional journey.
This move by Shelter not only reflects the organization’s commitment to attracting top-tier talent but also underscores the importance they place on effective communication, strategic policy development, and impactful campaigning in their mission to address housing-related issues.
The job opening is presented as a full-time opportunity, requiring the successful candidate to commit to 37.5 hours per week. This role is not only a commitment to time but a substantial responsibility that entails leading a significant and geographically dispersed team at Shelter. The team, described as passionate, is deeply committed to the cause of defending the right to a safe home. Within this dynamic group, individuals bring expertise in various areas, including campaigning, organizing, policy development, marketing, communication, and digital innovation.
The primary focus of the position involves coordinating this diverse and passionate team to develop evidence-based solutions addressing the pressing housing emergency. The goal is not only to formulate these solutions but also to garner support for them from local communities, policymakers, politicians, and the broader public. This signifies a crucial role in driving change within the housing landscape of Britain. The team’s collective expertise is poised to make a tangible impact, with the successful candidate at the forefront of this effort.
Furthermore, the selected individual will play a pivotal role in shaping Shelter’s strategic direction. The charity is gearing up for its next strategic plan, scheduled for implementation from April 2025. This implies that the successful candidate will be instrumental in influencing the course of Shelter’s initiatives, contributing to the organization’s mission, and navigating the complex challenges of the housing sector. The role not only demands leadership but also strategic thinking, making it an exciting opportunity for someone ready to make a substantial contribution to Shelter’s vision and goals.
In December 2022, more than 600 Shelter staff initiated a two-week strike due to a pay dispute. The Unite union highlighted concerns that a three per cent pay increase earlier that year had left some employees struggling to cover their rent, raising fears of potential homelessness.
The industrial action concluded in January 2023 when Unite accepted a revised pay offer after negotiations at the conciliation service ACAS. Recently, Shelter has issued a warning, asserting that the government’s failure to abolish Section 21 evictions could have repercussions. The charity emphasized that renters will take note of political stances during the upcoming General Election later this year.
Shelter contends that the latest data reveals a concerning trend, with 26,311 households in England forcibly removed from their homes by court bailiffs under Section 21 since the government’s initial promise to eliminate them in 2019. Ministry of Justice figures on repossessions and evictions also indicate a significant increase, with 9,457 households evicted in the past year, marking a 49 per cent rise from 6,399 households in 2022. These statistics underscore the ongoing challenges and the pressing need for policy reform in the realm of housing.
In 2023, an additional 30,230 landlords in England initiated Section 21 eviction court proceedings, marking a 28 per cent increase within a year.
According to the charity, Section 21 evictions significantly contribute to the growing homelessness issue. This is attributed to the provision allowing landlords to evict tenants with a two-month notice period without providing a specific reason. The charity argues that most tenants vacate the premises before the notice period concludes to avoid court proceedings related to eviction claims.
Shelter’s research suggests that, on average, a third of tenants take longer than two months to secure a new home when relocating, placing many at risk of homelessness when faced with an eviction notice.
Despite the government’s initial promise to eliminate Section 21 in its 2019 manifesto, it wasn’t until May 2023 that a commitment to this policy was made through the publication of the Renters Reform Bill. However, the government has indicated that the ban will only be enforced following unspecified court reforms. This delay raises questions about the timeline for addressing the issues associated with Section 21 and its impact on tenants.