Revenge Evictions To Become a Thing of the Past?
The government has proposed a change to the Deregulation Bill to stop landlords evicting tenants in houses where a health and safety issue has been identified by environmental health officers. Communities Minister Stephen Williams said “I’m proposing changes to the law that would outlaw “retaliatory evictions”, so tenants don’t face the prospect of losing their home simply for asking that repairs be made.”
Rent Freedom Day
On Wednesday the 4th of February Manchester Generation Rent will be joining fellow renters and campaigners from all over the country in central London for Rent Freedom Day.
Rent Freedom Day is an all-day event where renters and their allies can take action to show MPs and others politicians that in this election year we are no longer willing to sit back and have our issues, our every day lives and experiences, ignored.
Give Manchester City Council your thoughts on homelessness and housing-related support:
Manchester City Council have opened up a consultation process on their budget for 2015-2017. The process touches on a range of topics, but we at Generation Rent feel our supporters might be most interested in is the one on homelessness and housing-related support.
INSIDE PERSPECTIVE: II
Autumn was the wrong time time to rent a house in South Manchester, but my girlfriend’s landlord was getting bent about me and Dan crashing at her’s. Dan didn't fancy going back down south, Amanda was living in fairly grotesque conditions with fairly awful people, and I hated the paperwork and just wanted it all to be over with. We were all a little bit desperate.
AN OUTSIDE PERSPECTIVE:
Unlike the majority of my visits to private rented houses this one was anticipated as I’d been invited by a tenant.
As a North West community organiser for Generation Rent my role largely entails working with private tenants, through door to door outreach and also through what we call in the sector ‘dialogical relations,’ but what others might refer to as a good chat (with social change being the underpinning intention, because after all, we mean business).
This form of investigative organising, not only allows for first-hand experience and documentation of the state of rented properties, it also provides the chance to build relationships with tenants and support them in an ever increasing battle against illegality and disrepair.
In this instance, it was the first time I had been invited to see a property prior to meeting the tenants. My curiosity was piqued.
Now it is 2015 we are asking who'll be ringing in the changes?
An overview of the state of the sector for the average private renter suggests they will be, through the medium of their democratic rights and consumer rights...
The renter-landscape is changing and with this changing and increasing number of renters comes an increasing need for a just and sustainable housing system. As we approach the general election these needs should become demands.
Generation Rent Meets Manchester City Housing and Planning Directorate:
Following on from the previous overview of the City Council's PRS task force recommendations, Manchester Generation Rent attended a meeting with Director of Housing Paul Beardmore and Mark Glynn, Strategic Area Manager, of the city council.
There were some interesting discussions to be had at this meeting.
Mr. Beardmore has previously spoken in an online business publication of his belief that Manchester would benefit from a more ‘U.S. Style' housing offering where properties are built to a target renter demographic of students and young professionals who want to “purchase a lifestyle rather than a home for life”.
When asked to elaborate Mr. Beardmore jovially admitted thus far the general response to this touted proposal hadn't been entirely positive, and went on to emphasise that the City Council’s overarching strategy is in keeping up the equilibrium of market rental properties available to counterbalance those absorbed into Rent to Buy Schemes.
MANCHESTER CITY COUNCIL’S TASK FORCE FOR THE PRIVATE RENTAL SECTOR
A review of the Manchester City Council and the Role of Managing Agents and Letting Agents in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Task and Finish Group - 29 October 2014
Generation Rent’s Pollyanna Steiner attended the Manchester City Council meeting on 29 October 2014 where councillors took the first cautious steps towards possibly introducing a better system of regulation and accountability for letting and managing agents in the city.
Generation Rent Community Campaigns Manager Betsy Dillner spoke to the Role of Managing and Letting Agents in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Task and Finish Group previously on 18 September, where she put forward our concerns for the 9 million tenants nationally who are currently trying to maintain themselves in a decent level of housing in an unregulated sector. At that meeting the Chair asked group members to read ‘The Renters Manifesto: A blueprint for building a new sector in 2015’ and consider it for the final report, which we considered to be a positive step.
Renters throughout the country are calling for change. On February the 4th they will be coming together to Central Hall for Rent Freedom Day.
This is an invitation to get involved.
Manchester City Council admits that the number of renters are rising, and the number of 'entrenched rough sleepers' are too. The impact of cuts and welfare changes has seen a visible increase in homelessness and the vulnerably housed population in Greater Manchester.
Yesterday I attended the City Centre Ward Coordination meeting in which Alex Delap, of the Council's Children's and Adult's Services gave a presentation to the assembled resident representatives and Councillors on homelessness and rough sleeping.
Mr. Delap explained the relationship between the rise in rough sleepers and those homeless individuals accessing Manchester City Council's Support Services. He stated that annually over 5000 homeless people seek help and that figure has stayed fairly constant, while those numbers of people living (rough sleeping) on the street has begun to rise steeply.
Manchester City council have only 500 mixed tenure accommodations to offer those in need of housing, and of those offerings many are provided by private landlords.