Last night, Generation Rent was handed the Housing and Homelessness Award at the 2017 Sheila McKechnie Foundation awards in London.
The award was in recognition of our work in the past year to mobilise renters as a political force, which culminated in the government’s announcement of a ban on letting fees in November.
We are pleased to welcome four new trustees who have joined the Generation Rent board since the start of the year.
Daniel Bentley, Sean Cosgrove, Betsy Dillner and Hannah Williams bring with them decades of experience in political communications, financial management, movement building and business development.
When you mention the housing crisis, people tend to think of London and of campaign groups like Focus E15. There is good reason for this - the capital has experienced the worst excesses of the housing crisis, and the pushback there has been among the most dynamic in the country. Yet London is not alone in having a housing crisis, and in recent years the effects of a dysfunctional housing system have been making themselves felt in Greater Manchester.
This week Trust for London, in conjunction with Loughborough University, published their latest report on a Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for London - with figures updated from their first report in 2015, and with a focus in this research on families.
The MIS compares costs between London and the rest of the UK to show the difference between the minimum needed for an acceptable standard of living - with that minimum based on a list of goods discussed and agreed upon by the public.
We can draw many conclusions from the report, and though it should surprise no one that the cost of housing is a major differential between London and the rest of the UK, the research shows that the rising cost of private rents in the lower end of the market stops a large number of households achieving the MIS.
Ben Yarrow is Founder of Marks Out Of Tenancy. For more useful websites for renters, visit our resources page.
Ask anyone who’s renting, everyone’s got a story to share. Whether it’s good, bad or just plain ugly; every renter has had their own experience with a landlord or a letting agent that can give us insight into what can be expected as a potential tenant of theirs.
Now, while it can be fun to wax lyrical about rental horror stories, we wanted to figure out how this exchange of experiences could be harnessed to the benefit of generation rent - so we created Marks out of Tenancy.
Just 62.9% of England's population owns their home - the lowest proportion since 1985. And the private rented population now stands at 4.5m households, up on last year and bigger than in 1961, when slum landlords like Peter Rachman were making tenants' lives a misery.
These are the big findings of the English Housing Survey Headline Report, the first of two releases of the government-commissioned survey for 2015-16.
At this rate, there will be more private renters than mortgage holders in just five years' time. It's already the largest tenure in London.
Even though the government has promised to ban letting fees, our crowdsourced research project at lettingfees.co.uk continues to build up a picture of renter exploitation around the country. Renters in Bournemouth and Brighton & Hove now have an online comparison of letting fees in their area, which will help them avoid the rogues who are either charging excessive fees or just not publishing theirs.
We have put in our response to the government’s consultation on banning orders – the new mechanism to prevent criminals from operating in the rental market. That’s right, they aren’t banned already.
The government has asked what types of offences should be banworthy, and set a deadline of midnight tonight.
We asked our supporters for their experiences earlier in the week, dozens of you responded, and the feedback has helped shape our response to the government.