Alex Hilton recently left lobby group Generation Rent after being its director. But now, he has attacked housing groups, specifically the National Housing Federation (NHF) and homelessness charity Shelter, for “not wanting to upset anyone.”
Hilton’s words arrive in an interview with Hannah Fearn, featured in The Guardian.
On the sector generally, Hilton says: “These are intelligent people who have all the answers and are too scared to say what they are. Somehow an industry full of people utterly dedicated to something noble has become a very cautious and conservative industry.
“Generation Rent shouldn’t exist – these people should be doing that job, they should have solved these problems by now. They have the talent and the brains and the money to get it done and yet almost every housing association in the country has abrogated its role in changing the housing sector.”
Hilton believes that the NHF has “so many wonderful people, yet somehow these trade bodies manage to be so much woefully less than the sum of their parts. It’s all to do with not wanting to upset anyone.”
In March, Hilton took Generation Rent from the Homes for Britain rally, challenging the call to end the housing crisis within a generation. He explained: “Most 20-year-olds want it sorted before they’re 50.”
Hilton adds: “Homes for Britain gave them [politicians] a get-out-of-jail-free card. They said: ‘Tell us in a year what you’re going to do and we don’t mind if it takes you 30 years to do it’.”
Shelter also came under attack: “If I were to analyse Shelter, I would say it’s almost like a division by pay scale as to who thinks that [Generation Rent] has got the right policy positions: invariably it’s the people who can’t afford to be owner-occupiers who think that we’re right.”1
Hilton is leaving the country for Singapore, but will remain closely involved with the London mayoral election, as he is the campaign manager for candidate Lindsey Garrett. Read her manifesto here: /housing-campaigner-running-for-mayor-of-london/.