Two Minutes with Alex Hilton, Generation Rent
How did you get in to politics?
I was born into it really and brainwashed by my parents into the Labour Party. Leaving it three years ago was heartbreaking.
How did you get involved with Generation Rent?
I originally applied for a trustee position but loved the business plan so much that I felt I wanted to run the organisation instead. So I withdrew my trustee application and won the Director job.
What are your goals for Generation Rent and how do you see it developing in the next few years?
We want to fix the housing market – to convince renters that they’re not just unlucky, but that they are being exploited and they ought to be angry about it. Until the election we’re all about publicity and lobbying. Afterwards we’ll focus on community organisation and building up local groups.
As a former Parliamentary candidate, do you think our political system works for tenants?
I’m not sure it works for anyone really. The main parties are trading off the public’s understanding of their historic values but very few policies they have align with those purported values. We analysed census trends and by 2021 we estimate 104 parliamentary seats will be majority renter. But 49 of those will be in London. We think all the main parties are focused on provincial homeowners and are happy for urban renters to continue to be exploited.
Tell us a little about your life outside of work, do you have any hobbies?
I’m terrible at having a work life balance. My hobby is trying not to be a crap boyfriend I suppose.
What is the one column or website that you read every day?
I wish I had that luxury!
What is your biggest pet peeve, or makes you angry?
As I get older I think more things make me angry. Injustice and inequality make me angry though that makes me sound like some sort of socialist Batman. Tourists walking too slowly too.
What would you do if you were Prime Minister for a day?
Electoral reform. All the crap things governments get away with are possible because 500 seats are safe in a parliament of 650. Safe seats allow party leaders to control MPs. Safe seats are the enemy of the people.
Why did you come to MRM to help you with your Public and Regulatory Affairs Needs?
MRM wanted to work on the Consumer Rights Bill and we really wanted to influence it. With Havard leading on his, I had the confidence that we could leave this with you and stuff would get done professionally and effectively. It also released a lot of my time to concentrate on other things.
How can people get involved with or advocate for Generation Rent?
Just sign up on our website http://www.generationrent.org. We’ll let you know what you can do. On Monday the 24th we have a demo outside parliament on revenge evictions and also the Lords are debating whether to ban letting agent fees. If you want to influence that, we have an email on our site you can sent to the minister Vince Cable. Do it today!!
Follow the MRM Public and Regulatory Affairs division on LinkedIn and on Twitter.