Generation Rent fights to stay alive after Nationwide Foundation pulls funding

Lobbying group Generation Rent will go under unless it manages to raise enough money from supporters by the end of August.

The group says it “unexpectedly” has only two months of funding left.

A spokesperson for Generation Rent confirmed to EYE this was after Nationwide Foundation withdrew its support.

In 2013, Nationwide Foundation gave a grant of £725,000 which it said on its website was to cover three years’ worth of business development and salaries.

Nationwide Foundation was set up by the mortgage lender, and operates independently, although eyebrows were raised at the time as to the choice of beneficiary which has often been a thorn in the flesh of private landlords and letting agents.

Generation Rent, which has made its voice heard on a number of issues including letting agent fees and rent controls, says it needs to raise £60,000 by August 31.

This would allow it to continue its work empowering renters, while “applying for grants and building a sustainable organisation”.

It says that if it does not raise enough money within the next month, “there is a real danger that the campaign will simply vanish, and with it the national voice of private renters in the media and political debate”.

Another option, should it fail to hit target, is to lay off staff but keep the campaign as a volunteer-run organisation.

By yesterday, Generation Rent had raised £5,802 towards its £60,000 target.

EYE has asked Nationwide for a comment.

Generation Rent’s campaign is on a crowdfunding site called People Republic.

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  1. Robert May

    It’s a shame my project isn’t further advanced  the  charity side of Rummage4 already has the giving links designed to help projects like  Generation rent.
    I am more than happy to set up a giving link to Generation Rent if it is a  registered charity. I would also ask letting and estate agents to understand how the industry could benefit working with people like Alex Hilton and the tenants they represent.
    I am fairly sure many people will be thinking good riddance to them,  I understand that  sentiment but also understand that  it is the  low paid key workers in high demand, high rent areas who get most benefit from Generation Rent giving them a voice. While shouting at our industry the kafuffle and noise is a subliminal message that central government are the  ones creating the problem not agents.

    1. Robert May

      Please give me credit for understanding this. A dislike on this post suggests you havent given the subject quite as much thought as I have.

  2. Will

    As a small landlord who has worked very hard and provides good quality accommodation I have to say I would not be sorry to see their passing with some of the crazy comments Generation Rent have come up with.  I do not support bad landlords but they are a symptom of the political policies in removing a decent supply of social housing which started with Mrs Thatcher who “purchased votes” with the right to buy. My personal view is that people  in social housing should have a right to buy (as their property is their home) but at a full market price or shared ownership basis to make it affordable BUT all funds should be put to providing further social housing and not used to fund other expenses. The constant and ongoing and increasing attacks on the PRS  drives unnecessary regulation which is counter productive and  drives up good landlords (and ultimately tenants) costs. The use of terms such as “rogue landlords” is designed to be anti landlord where the vast majority of landlords are providing  good to excellent accommodation which with a better tax regime could be even better. Yes we in the property professions see both sides and councils currently have the legal powers to address most issues if they wanted (or could afford) to. So I now refer to ROGUE COUNCILS LIKE CROYDON who clearly are on a money raising trip. I personally regard them  in the same group as bad landlords – both take advantage of, or abuse, their power. Such councils are no better than bad landlords. The mis-leading propaganda about landlords driving up rents is rubbish; it is about supply and demand. Fact is too few houses too many people needing them. THE GOVERNMENT IS AT FAULT for not providing adequate social housing but selling it! (and spending the money elsewhere). The sudden rise in population growth has driven down salaries making it difficult for the poorer workers to afford the high rents which is caused by excess demand (a double whammy). Even the communist countries have  pretty much had to accept the concept of open markets – supply and demand. So you either have to  restrict demand or increase supply to solve the problems: neither of which is happening.  So yes I am equally surprised the Nationwide who are part of an industry which make their money out of landlords support any sometimes extreme organizations like Generation Rent. Driven by the constant attacks on the PRS sector Generation Rent might do better by working with landlords rather than the constant attacks suggesting all landlords are greedy demons. I might even go back to using the Nationwide now.

  3. mat109

    To the inevitable ‘good riddance’ types, you cannot deny that someone needs to represent the interests of those renting in the PRS, unless you are in favour of Russian style oligopoly.

    Yes, generation rent/shelter call for some fairly unlikely things, but very often this is to provoke debate on a subject rather than as genuine policy proposals. And it works.

    Like it or not, renters rights are very poorly represented in parliament (how many MPs are renters outside of their expensed London flats, pray?) and there is a general perception that they do not vote. With very well funded organisations such as the RLA, ARLA etc. to counterbalance them it can only be healthy in a democracy to have the debate.

  4. seenitall

    bite the had that feeds it eh?     funny that.

    Snap snap nibble nibble and they wonder why the hand that has fed them is pulled away.  Will they generate enough support by open funding?  doubt it  why? becasue there really isnt the need for them.  There already is enough protection for tenants legally and we all know why there is such high demand.  Build more houses.

    A bit like what Labour was proposing before the election as well – lets bite nibble the wealth earners, the ones that pay the most tax already lets tax them even more, lets charge agents and landlords more in tax make the PRS a dirty word. Lets spend more of other peoples monies.        Funny when the country told Labour to go crawl under a rock and suck on its own brains.  I hear Labour is a virtual bankrupt when the union monies dry up.

  5. Eric Walker

    I got on very well with Alex Hilton from Generation Rent personally and had a most enjoyable lunch with him. His motives were honorable and to my surprise I liked him hugely. I didn’t agree with everything he said, but candidly, nor did he. Alex’s ethos was ‘not listening is no longer an option’ so many of his ideas were ‘grenades’ designed to provoke debate.

    I agree someone needs to represent consumers but felt that Gen Rent was less than unbiased and far too left wing. Tenants rights at any cost will simply add to the shortage of homes. Gen Rent has become, in my opinion, political not practical. So many of their facts and figures were designed to shock rather than inform.

    That said if they continue, and I hope they do, they will engage more with industry rather than alienate them and the all important Landlord without whom there would be no tenants to represent.


    1. smile please

      That’s the problem when you are constantly throwing grenades, one day one will explode in your hand.


      1. Robert May

        The secret is to influence where they are being thrown!

    2. Robert May

      That is nice to read Eric.


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