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We have given Betsy Dillner, the Director of Generation Rent the nickname “Ditsy Dillner” on account of how often she contradicts herself.
In ‘How to change the housing crisis: build relationships’ Betsy Dillner says: “the PRS has more than doubled in the last 10 years, to 11 million households across the UK.”
She claims “We as a society are addicted to the idea of rising house prices, and we now see property as a commodity more than a human need.”
She says “We think we have about 1.2 million landlords in the country, but we don’t actually know because the government doesn’t even know who the landlords are any more. So if you think about 4 million private rental households trying to organise against 1 million, that becomes really difficult.”
Thus in the space of a few minutes she has the number of PRS households at 11 million and at 4 million – video link . So come on Ditsy, how many is it?
She wants to organise renters to act together to take action against the housing crisis, to give them the same sort of power as trade unions. She said that for this to happen renters need to form relationships. She would like the renters to copy the rent strikes of 100 years ago in Glasgow, with the renters’ “union” supporting those who are evicted as a result.
She wants to discourage First Time Buyers. She wants the renters’ union members to dissuade those who might be tempted to feed the rising price addiction by buying a property – presumably on the lines of Alcoholics Anonymous?
This is contrary to what she implied in Joe Lynam’s notorious BBC programme earlier this year. Then she said “These tax incentives have pushed a lot of amateur landlords into the market and removing these incentives will professionalise landlords and make way for First Time Buyers which may (sic) have been pushed out of the market because of these tax incentives pushing up prices.”
She says they need a way of organising renters, but concedes that she and her colleagues do not know how to do so. She says she is proud to be part of the housing movement. Again, she asked people who want to get a foot on the ladder to think about how it feeds the addiction (and presumably to refrain).
She wants both prices and rents to come down even while acknowledging that the crisis is due to a chronic under-supply of new dwellings.
Her fantasy is for renters to come together, refuse to buy a property out of solidarity, and then refuse to pay rent and opt for eviction instead, making themselves intentionally homeless and therefore ineligible for support from the council. It is Utopian socialist drivel.
Generation Rent describes itself as “Campaigning with private renters for professionally managed, secure, decent and affordable privately rented homes”. A rent strike would deprive renters of their homes. Why would its only director promote such a counter-productive idea?
In February she welcomed S 24 because it would force landlords to sell, and make way for FTB’s.
In May she appealed to renters not to become FTB’s, as described above..
At the end of October she welcomed the Stamp Duty surcharge because it would deter “speculators” from buying property and “shutting out would-be first-time buyers”: Daily Mail Link
She seems confused. Can she make her mind up whether she approves of renters becoming FTB’s or not?
We are confused as well. Given that the aim of her organisation is exclusively to improve the quality of life of renters, why does she welcome taxes that will reduce and keep low the supply of rental accommodation (by deterring landlords from buying or forcing them to sell) thereby increasing its price?
She admits she is not a housing expert, and that her friends describe her as a bit of a professional trouble maker. We are also confused as to why the BBC and the Daily Mail would ask her to comment about taxes that affect housing. Or does she call them?
Finally, let’s look at her thoughts about section 21 – these are from Twitter …
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