The challenge

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 to a shortage of supply, issues with regulation, affordability, access, quality and security pervade this dysfunctional market. As rents continue to rise, the need for change – especially in high-cost areas – is urgent.

There are many innovations in our communities that are tackling the issues presented by a challenging private rented sector, including social lettings agencies, homeshare schemes and ventures working to improve specific barriers like credit histories or large deposits. But we need many more.

A solution

The Young Foundation believes that innovation can play a significant role in making the private rented sector work better and improving the experiences of tenants. Inspired by initiatives like Dot Dot Dot and Homes for Good, we have launched Reimagining Rent, a unique programme supporting innovative initiatives that are tackling many of the challenges presented by the Private Rented Sector, funded by the Nationwide Foundation.

Reimagining Rent supports these innovations in order to help make this sector work better for vulnerable people and those on low incomes. Through a programme of workshops, consultancy and access to experts (at no cost to participants), we help participating teams strengthen the innovations’ models, demonstrate their social impact and grow their potential to scale. We are also building 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.

Get involved

The first cohort of Reimagining Rent launched in 2017 and supported a group of seven exciting ventures. Applications are now open for our second cohort, which will be delivered in London between September 2018 and February 2019. To find out more about what we offer, the programme criteria and how to apply, please visit our application page. If you have any further questions, please contact the team on

The Young Foundation’s Reimagining Rent programme is being funded by the Nationwide Foundation, a charitable funder aiming to increase the availability of decent affordable homes for people in housing need.