As a local housing campaigner and someone who has been homeless and lived in Emergency Accommodation in the city, I am embarrassed as a born and bred brightonian with the increased visible homelessness in the city, which at the last count was 144 rough sleepers.
Brighton and Hove City Council have been trying to flog off Kings House now for sometime, however know that we spend almost £20 millions a year paying private limited companies to house the statutory homeless in emergency and temporary accommodation, and I feel we should be providing these services in-house.
As reported in the Brighton and Hove News this week, the sale of Kings House has collapsed, there has been little to no information revealed around this and I believe we as a community now have a chance to retain this as a community asset.
Firstly the consortium buying kings house was kept quiet, no details revealed to us, its our asset and we were frozen out, I think there is an appetite in the city to get this building retained as an asset even if it is just in part.
I don’t think we should give up on this just yet, look at the old Priory House Council Offices, these were sold to Baron Homes, they are one of the cities Emergency and Temporary Accomodation providers and are beneficiaries to a lot of money from Brighton and Hove City Council, this was clearly a mistake, and so is the sale of Kings House, as it stands.
The community, homeless charities and medical services should come together and organise against this sale, it was originally designed James Knowles, he lived at 3 Percival Terrace in Brighton, this is now an emergency accommodation building also owned by a private limited company.
We need to provide for our own and with the homeless reduction bill demand is set to rise, we need to get the rough sleepers and those stuck out of the city housed, we need a homeless hub a central place for all homeless services to work from and finally tackle this issue.
Together we can make changes. If you want to get involved in saving kings house get in touch, it would be good to get a campaign and organising team together and start lobbying for a change in policy here.
What do you think we should do with the building? leave a comment.