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New research helps mobilise renters to speak out

The Nationwide Foundation has released a report setting out sixteen evidence-based recommendations for making tenants’ voices heard in debates about the UK private rented sector.

The Foundation seeks to make more affordable homes available for vulnerable people through long-term change to the housing system, including the private rented sector. Rents have increased in the private renting sector by 12% in the past year. Conditions are worse in the private rented sector than in any other.

Between 2019 and late 2022, the Nationwide Foundation backed a programme of seven varied projects which used different models for strengthening tenant voice and helping lived experience to be considered in policymaking. From forming advisory panels and empowering tenants’ unions to producing manifestos and organising communities, these tenant voice projects worked to ensure that the voices of the UK’s private renters are heard when new policy is developed.

The Foundation has now released a new report, which makes recommendations to amplify tenant’s voices when it comes to decision-making. Some of the ideas include:

  • Build tenants’ understanding of their individual rights. This can be a first step in developing their confidence to campaign for an expansion of these rights.
  • Provide support to help tenant groups understand how they can influence the complex world of policy-making.
  • Mobilise renters to become advocates for change, it’s essential to help them see their own experiences as reflecting broader injustices in the system.
  • Incentivise local political decision-makers to advocate reform, it’s important to highlight the sheer number of renters as a significant voting bloc.

In addition to sharing its findings with others, the Nationwide Foundation is incorporating the recommendations into a new phase of the tenant voice programme, running from early 2023 to the end of 2024

Read the full report here.

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