Generation Rent has appointed Alicia Kennedy, Baroness Kennedy, as its new Director. Alicia joins Generation Rent at a time when coronavirus has pushed renting even further up the political agenda: more than half of renters have lost income, and while evictions are suspended until August, state support is not enough to cover rent in many cases, leaving renters reliant on the goodwill of their landlords to avoid suffocating debt.
Beyond the immediate crisis facing renters, the organisation’s priorities include securing the abolition of Section 21 evictions under the government’s proposed but as yet unpublished Renters’ Reform Bill, ensuring recent successes such as the letting fees ban and rights over safe homes are enforced properly, and ensuring everyone can afford a decent home. Alicia’s focus will be to strengthen the team to secure these improvements to the lives of the UK’s 13 million private renters.
A serving life peer, Alicia has resigned the Labour whip and will now serve as a non-aligned member of the House of Lords. Current Director, Dan Wilson Craw, stays with the organisation as Deputy Director, leading on research and communications.
Ian Mulheirn, Chair of the Generation Rent board, says:
“We are delighted to appoint Alicia to lead the organisation. She has exceptional experience of both policy and campaigns, from 25 years spent at the highest levels of national politics. She joins a dynamic and committed team at a critical moment when coronavirus has underlined the precarious nature of life for Britain's 13 million private renters, and with the opportunity to change that for the better. We look forward to Alicia building on the huge success of Generation Rent over recent years and cementing its role as a leader in the housing debate.”
Alicia Kennedy says:
“This Coronavirus pandemic, and the particular challenges it has posed for tenants, has shown how much we need a strong national voice to campaign for the interests of private renters. That’s why I am so pleased to be joining Generation Rent at this vital time. It’s our job to give private renters a platform to share their experiences and to unite to tackle the common problems so many face. Working together we can achieve positive change in policy and practice and deliver stronger rights for tenants. I can’t wait to get stuck in.”
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(Photo credit: UK Parliament)