Cash-strapped Generation Rent gets £45,000 to fight for rent controls

Campaign group Generation Rent – which is struggling for financial survival – has been given £45,000 so that it can fight for rent controls.

The money is from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, to boost Generation Rent’s campaign ahead of the London Assembly elections in May.

However, it has been given separately from the organisation’s current fund-raising drive for its own existence.

Generation Rent has been using crowdfunding to raise £60,000 by the end of this month.

Yesterday, with only 14 days to go, it had reached £11,785.

Generation Rent launched its crowdfunding campaign after the Nationwide Foundation – a charitable fund set up by the lender – pulled the plug on making further donations.

Betsy Dillner, director at Generation Rent, said: “As the Joseph Rowntree Foundation grant is intended for a particular campaign, it does not count towards our wider crowdfunding effort. It is nevertheless a huge boost to our organisation.”

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  1. Will

    Rent control is not the answer to the housing crisis. It will drive away investment. We will go back to the 1970’s when there was no property to rent and you had to live with your parents or purchase. It significantly reduced mobility: it meant moving to work in a differing area became extremely difficult. The Government NEEDS to encourage  more homes built for social tenants who can’t afford the market rates. The poorer in society will still suffer as they will not be able to afford to purchase.  The additional housing stock would naturally reduce rents as demand for the PRS reduces. Generation rent need to focus on solving the supply problem. The property market is not a monopoly where controls might be a reasonable solution; it is made up of thousands or ordinary investors many of whom have been ripped off by the Insurance companies with their suspect pension plans pushing investors to look elsewhere for a return on their savings.

  2. ray comer

    Sadly I don’t think generation rent see things in the same cold light of day as the rest of us Will. They only see high rent and high fees to tenants and don’t connect rent controls and suppression of fees with causing a bigger issue for tenants.

    I don’t have a any great problem with them trying to suppress a free market, history tells us that rarely is that successful as the market will always win out, but to gamble with tenants homes, some of which can ill afford to lose them, is just reprehensible in my opinion.

    If they did as you suggest, focused on pushing Government to solve the supply problem, they’d find that the problem they are actually looking at will start to solve itself. As more property comes on line so the price of the available stock will soften as supply outstrips demand.

    I’m afraid that they see all investors as being dressed in pinstripes driving a Rolls and waving handfuls of £50 notes about!


    1. Will

      Well said Ray. Rolls and handfuls of £50 notes – I wished! that sounds like politicians to me!!!!

  3. Anonymous Coward

    The Law of Unintended Consequences will apply in the case of rent controls. On the face of it, certainly from a tenants perspective, it looks like a good idea. But what happens to all those pinstriped investors who are no such thing and are school teachers, nurses, firemen, etcetera who have worked hard and invested their money in a second property as a retirement fund?

    They are people who probably voted for Tony Blair too.

    None of them will be happy when the interest rates rise and the rent controls force them to lose money every month…

    I’m guessing but I can’t see that the average BTL investment in the South  gets a yield much above 4.5%.

    Take out agency fees, repair costs, licensing (???), contingency funds and mortgage repayments then I am sure that most BTL investors make pennies and only sleep well at night knowing that there is superb capital growth.

    If you actively force them to lose money, they’ll sell them faster than you can say “pension fund”.

    But all that will do is soak up the pent up demand from buyers, it won’t bring house prices down.

    Then the PRS will be absolutely screwed and rents will have to go through the roof.

    Except they can’t.



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