Greens to launch new Renters’ Charter to support ‘Generation Rent’

16 March 2017

Exeter Green Party is to launch a new Renters' Charter this Thursday to address the problems and difficult issues facing young renters in the city [1]. The charter, which will be launched at Exeter University by the Deputy Leader of the Green Party, Amelia Womack [2], includes calls for tough planning conditions on developers to ensure new developments are affordable; a renter’s union to provide advice on legal issues in renting and a ‘Housing First’ strategy, offering vulnerable young people permanent accommodation before they have conquered problems such as alcohol abuse, drug addiction and mental illness. This idea is currently being considered by the government following several successful pilots [3]. The Charter also calls for new developments to have high environmental standards and for older properties to be retrofitted to create ‘higher living standards’.

The Charter has been developed by the Young Greens, the youth wing of the Green Party. Joe Levy, a Young Green who lives in St Thomas, has helped develop the charter. He said:

“Developed by young people, for young people, this Charter presents a series of measures that would really improve renting for young people in the city. We think it is time Exeter City Council acted to improve the lot of young people renting in Exeter. But actually these measures would help all renters”.

Mr Levy added: “You don't have to be a young person to come along to the launch. We would like to encourage all ages to support our campaign.”

Cllr Chris Musgrave, Green Councillor in Alphington, said:

“I hope the City Council will take this Charter seriously. It is evident that young people face many problems renting in Exeter. The measures contained in this Charter would help empower young people and students so they not only have better places to live and a better quality of life but also feel emboldened to challenge injustices in the system where and when these arise”.

Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader of the Green Party, who will launch the Renters Charter, said:

"Britain is suffering an acute housing crisis leaving people everywhere living in desperate insecurity. While on one hand many are spending up to two thirds of their income on sub-standard accommodation, on the other property developers are earning huge sums for holding onto land. It’s not right.

“Everyone deserves somewhere safe, secure and warm they can call home, and Exeter Greens are leading the way in making that happen. Their Renter’s Charter will pave the way for a city free from housing poverty and homelessness, where the grip of developers is broken and renter’s rights are protected. I hope we will soon see others follow their lead.”

ENDS

[1] See attached Renter’s Charter

[2] The launch of the Renters’ Charter will take place on Thursday 16th March, 7pm at Streatham Court D, Exeter University. It will be launched by Amelia Womack, Deputy leader of the Green Party, and Young Greens. All welcome. 

[3] https://amp.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/12/housing-first-csj-report-government-finland-homelessness-strategy-sajid-javid