Young Foundation Launches Private Rented Sector Shake Up with New Housing Innovation Programme

Date: 10 August 2017

The Young Foundation launches unique housing innovation programme focused on the Private Rented Sector. 

Today (10/08/17) The Young Foundation launches Reimagining Rent, funded by the Nationwide Foundation, a new programme working with innovative initiatives that are tackling many of the challenges presented by the Private Rented Sector.

This exciting new programme is greatly needed because for the vulnerable and those on low incomes the failure of the housing system is widespread, with the social and economic inequalities perpetuated by the private rented sector being particularly acute. Poverty among renters has doubled in the last decade, leaving millions trapped in insecure, expensive housing. In addition, there is a shortage of supply, issues with regulation, affordability, access, quality and security. As rents continue to rise, the need for change is urgent.

The Reimagining Rent programme will work with innovations in the housing sector to strengthen their models, demonstrate their social impact and grow their potential to scale. We will also build alliances and networks with housing stakeholders to increase attention on housing innovation and attract investment, so that ultimately more people have access to safe, secure and affordable homes.

Reimagining Rent will launch in London in autumn 2017 and will be delivered in other areas of the UK in subsequent years.

Baroness Glenys Thornton, CEO of the Young Foundation said:

“We are delighted to be building on our formidable track record in supporting and scaling social innovations to run this vital programme to tackle the many pernicious inequalities in the Private Rented Sector. There are lots of fantastic projects out there innovating for change in this sector but they need support to scale and grow their impact. We are therefore thrilled to be working with the Nationwide Foundation whose aim is to increase the availability of decent affordable homes for those in need to launch this exciting new programme.”

Jonathan Lewis, Programme Manager at the Nationwide Foundation said:

“The lack of decent affordable housing for people in need is one of our country’s biggest social issues. It causes harm, not only to individuals and families, but also to communities and society. We know that there are many organisations with brilliant, imaginative and different ideas about how to deliver the right sort of housing or housing support, which can tackle failings in the housing system, especially the private rented sector. Our ambition is that some of the ideas that are supported through The Young Foundation’s Reimagining Rent programme will show enough promise to leverage funding from other sources and will then gain momentum. We want to ensure that in ten years’ time there are many more proven solutions underway, operating to protect and increase the supply of decent, affordable homes for people in need.”

To find out more or to apply to participate in Reimagining Rent please email


Notes to editors:

  1. For interviews and more information please contact Lucie Russell, Head of Communications and Policy on 07931 507873,
  2. The Young Foundation is a research and action based institute with a formidable track record of confronting inequalities. We work across the UK and internationally to create insight and innovations which put people at the heart of social change. We do this through research, work with communities and social innovations -new ways to meet social needs. Together we have created and supported over 80 organizations including Which?, The Open University, Economic and Social Research Council, Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), School for Social Entrepreneurs, Uprising, Action for Happiness and Studio Schools Trust. Find out more at
  3. We were founded by the great social scientist and innovator Michael Young and originally called the Institute for Community Studies. In 2005, we merged with the Mutual Aid Centre and became the Young Foundation, in honour of our founder.
  4. The Nationwide Foundation is a charity that improves the lives of people in need. It seeks to make change happen by funding charitable causes and through its other influencing activities. The Nationwide Foundation’s Decent Affordable Homes strategy aims to increase the availability of decent affordable homes for people in housing need in the UK.
  5. The Young Foundation’s Reimagining Rent has been funded under the Nationwide Foundation’s Nurturing Ideas to Change the Housing System The Nationwide Foundation knows that there are many organisations and communities with brilliant, imaginative and different ideas about how to deliver the right sort of housing or housing support, which can tackle systemic failings in the housing system. The Nationwide Foundation is backing promising ideas, allowing them to be trialled and tested, and then help them move through into action, influence and ultimately wide-spread implementation. Charity number: 1065552. Find out more at: Twitter: @Nationwidefdtn Contact: 01793 655113 or