Fellow: Hana Cogingsford

Shelter – Plymouth

A home is a fundamental human need, as essential as education or healthcare. Yet millions of people’s lives across the country are blighted by homelessness, soaring rents, deplorable conditions, discrimination and the threat of eviction.

Shelter exists to defend the right to a safe home. Each year through our expert advice and support services, we help millions of people struggling with bad housing or homelessness – and we campaign to prevent it in the first place. We are here so no one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own.

Through our helpline, online services and network of local hubs, we provide expert information, advice and support to people in housing crisis. Alongside this, we are committed to tackling the root causes of the current housing emergency. We do this through our wider campaigning and policy work which is always informed by the experiences we are seeing on the frontline.

Within our frontline services, we employ a thriving legal team – including some of the country’s leading housing lawyers – to advise and represent people across England. Each of our local hubs has their own legal team, including our Devon Hub in Plymouth.

Our national legal team has over 100 staff members, including 45 solicitors. We deliver the highest quality housing advice and litigation services from our network of 12 offices around the country. Within Shelter Legal Services, we also have a strategic litigation team that works on bringing and supporting test case litigation with the aim of positively changing legislation, policy and practice.

Shelter Legal Services has a national reputation for excellence in housing law and human rights, and a long history of seeking to assist the development of English law in the field of homelessness and issues of inadequate housing through litigation. We use the law to solve people’s problems, ensure people’s rights are upheld and test the limits of the law. We want to be able to offer all Shelter clients a complete advice and advocacy service, and in the current challenging environment ensure that people have access to justice and a safe, secure place to call home.

Shelter’s Devon Hub, located in Plymouth, is made up of highly skilled solicitors and advisers offering legal aid, and non legal aid, advice and guidance on housing rights related issues. The Hub provides a range of services to assist people facing homelessness or housing issues, including litigation and specialist advice. We also provide representation at court through the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme where we help those at immediate risk of losing their home.

For further information, visit our website.

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