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Reimagining rent – keeping essential workers in our capital

Following the success of our Employer Housing Pledges, London First was invited by the Cabinet Office to apply for the Young Foundation’s Reimagining Rent programme. We are delighted to have been successful.

The programme supports initiatives that tackle some of the most pressing challenges in the private rented sector in London, with plans to expand to cities across the UK. The programme will help strengthen our Employer Housing Pledges, along with several other ventures working to support low income essential workers.

Over the next six months we will gain access to sector expertise, collaboration and networks, pro bono support, and advice on social finance. This valuable support will develop the capacity and capability of our Employer Housing Pledges, enabling many more London employees to benefit.

The London First Employer Housing Pledges bring together a unique set of London employers who have seen their business suffer as a result of the toll the housing crisis has had on their staff. Employers are unified on this front: the housing crisis poses a significant risk to recruiting and retaining the people that the capital needs to stay competitive. There is a great need for employers to take action, particularly with nearly 20% of people taking out a loan to pay their tenancy deposit, and 50% of London workers struggling to pay rent.

Although it is not the responsibility of business to solve the housing crisis, the Pledges encourage business to act where it is able to.

With almost 40 employers signed up already and over 130,000 employees covered, we are aiming to reach 100 employers this year with help from Reimagining Rent.

Our executive director Derek Ray-Hill is attending the programme. We hope that, ultimately, this will enable the Employer Housing Pledges to develop into its own social enterprise.

To find out more about the Employer Housing Pledges, and how your organisation can join, please contact Natasha Ryan at

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