Mayor Marvin Rees has appointed experienced housing and mental health campaigner Councillor Tom Renhard as the new Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Homes.
Cllr Renhard, who was elected as a Labour member for Horfield earlier this month, is a director at tenant’s rights group and community union ACORN.
He also served on the Bristol Homes Board for almost four years, supporting the city’s work to get more affordable housing built in the city.
The priorities for Cllr Renhard include tackling the housing crisis by ensuring that the city builds 2,000 homes a year by 2024, of which 1,000 are affordable.
There will also be a focus on pursuing a Living Rent in the city to make renting more affordable, and taking a ‘housing first’ approach to supporting people with complex needs who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Mavin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: "Addressing the housing crisis and building more affordable homes remains one of our top priorities, and we know that Tom has a lot of experience working in housing and as a new councillor will bring a fresh perspective.
“Tom has worked with ACORN supporting tenants and campaigning for housing rights for many years, and he has a vast amount of knowledge to share with us. Providing homes that people can afford and creating communities where people feel proud to live remain two of our main goals.”
Cllr Renhard said: “I am deeply humbled to have been asked to serve as part of Mayor Marvin Rees’ Cabinet. I am looking forward to hitting the ground running and building on the strong foundations that have already been laid down.
“I have been involved in campaigning for greater protections for renters in the private-rented sector in Bristol and I am passionate about making sure communities are involved in the decision-making about what goes on in their area.
“There is a lot to do and it will take strong trusted partnerships to achieve our aspirations, while continuing to be a leading city that innovates and delivers.”
Working with the Cabinet positions and portfolios now announced, the Mayor will retain direct responsibility for transport, helping to get people moving around the city in a clean and sustainable way, as well as planning and city design.
The focus will be on progressing a mass transit system for Bristol, while also delivering the Bus Deal and doubling the frequency of buses on key routes.
There will also be a drive to expand the electric vehicle infrastructure, introduce an integrated ticketing system and pursue new train stations for the city.
The Mayor added: “Improving our transport network will be key to developing the city. We are taking bold action to create a better, more connected future for everyone in and around Bristol. Our ambition will protect public health and unlock barriers to inclusive and sustainable economic growth with cleaner air, safer and better public transport, and improved walking and cycling routes.
“Delivery of reliable sustainable transport options will help to connect people to education and employment opportunities, health care, retail and leisure facilities, and we work with the community to minimise impacts as we rebuild together after COVID-19.
“Our Cabinet appointments allow us to focus on delivering on our commitments, and work to tackle the issues of inequality and make Bristol a city where everyone can prosper.”
It has also been confirmed that Councillor Helen Godwin will take on the education and schools brief as part of her role as lead member for Women and Families.
The full make up of the new Cabinet is as follows:
- Mayor Marvin Rees – lead on Transport, Planning and City Design
- Councillor Craig Cheney – Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Finance, Governance and Performance
- Councillor Asher Craig – Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Communities, Equalities and Public Health
- Councillor Helen Godwin - Cabinet Member for Families, Education and Women (Lead Member for Children’s Services)
- Councillor Helen Holland - Cabinet Member with responsibility for Adult Social Care
- Councillor Nicola Beech – Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology, Waste and Energy
- Councillor Tom Renhard – Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Homes