Pro-tenant group Generation Rent has appointed a campaigning Labour peer as its new director who’s promising to give tenants a stronger voice.
Serving life peer Alicia Kennedy has resigned the Labour whip and will serve as a non-aligned member of the House of Lords so that she can focus on giving Generation Rent more political clout.
A party stalwart, Baroness Kennedy was the party’s head of field operations for two general elections. She first worked as a regional organiser for Labour 25 years ago, ending up as an advisor to party leader Ed Miliband before joining the Lords in 2013.
Having previously worked on the Draft Modern Slavery Bill and on the Affordable Childcare Committee, Kennedy is a prolific poser of written questions to the House and a keen Lords debater.
She recently quizzed the Government about housing safety following the Grenfell disaster as well as asking them about the number of home owners at risk of negative equity or home repossession as a result of Covid-19.
Generation Rent says she’ll be tasked with strengthening its team so it can focus on securing the abolition of Section 21 evictions, helping to enforce recent successes such as the letting fees ban and rights over safe homes, and ensuring everyone can afford a decent home.
Kennedy says the Coronavirus pandemic, and the particular challenges it has posed for tenants, has shown the need for a strong national voice to campaign for the interests of private renters.
“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,” she says. “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.”