CASH STRAPPED AND TRAPPED: Growing Concern for Brighton Residents

Brighton and Hove have a housing crisis and its about to get exposed, last year I was the first campaigner locally to highlight the fact that 10,000 people locally were culled from the council housing waiting list, and just last weekend a senior council executive admitted the council are at a loose end with the cities Emergency and Temporary Accommodation.

I’ve recently been contacted by concerned residents living in temporary accommodation in the city, it turns out there are hundreds of vulnerable people currently in arrears due to the high cost to sub-contract out temporary accommodation to private companies.

One concerned mother has reported being told she would need to find an extra £175 per week toward her rent, not only was she forced to move out of the city, she is today in debt of over £1500.


Residents are at breaking point, not only with threat of eviction but they are also reporting being ‘overlooked’ for council housing due to the arrears. One mother described “being trapped” with high rents, often unaffordable.

This is a growing concern because under the Housing Act Part 7: Homelessness Councils have a duty to provide accommodation to families which are suitable for there needs, however if they are unaffordable they are certainly unsuitable.


Emergency and Temporary Accommodation: FACTS

  • MORE than a third of the city’s 2,200 temporary accommodation residents are in rent arrears with debts of up to £22,000, as revealed in the Argus earlier this year.
  • Almost 900 families and individuals housed by Brighton and Hove City Council in bedsits, hostels, flats and BnBs had rent arrears totalling £1.4 million in March.
  • 64% Rise in the number of Children in Brighton and Hove without a home. Now almost 2000 children are living in emergency and temporary accommodation, second only to London. (For Sussex it is 2700, a rise of 33%.)
  • There were 24,000 people on the council housing waiting list until Band D was removed, I believe 12k people have been removed, with no hope of a secure home for themselves.
  • For every 100 people who present as homeless to the council, just 35 or 35% are accepted with a priority need housing duty. The national average is 52%.

Join ETHRAG: Emergency and Temporary Housing Residents Action Group


Have you been affected by arrears?

If you have contact me below with details.


If you enjoy my blog feel free to donate, I often fund things out of my own pocket.

£5 can part fund a residents meeting for those in emergency and temporary accommodation, vital for uniting people to stop conditions like these!

£5.00


 

People Fight Back With Bold New Brighton and Hove Housing Conference

The Housing Crisis in Brighton & Hove has hit the point of no return and this Saturday the people affected and left behind finally have a voice with a radical new housing conference set to launch a movement to push for more accountability and transparency from Brighton and Hove City Council.

This is a new vibrant campaign launched based on action not words

Caroline Lucas MP and Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP will lead off at the launch of the Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition this Saturday by answering questions from more than 200 housing activists in Brighton.

Around 20 organisations are coming together to establish a Housing Coalition that will challenge the moribund policies of our City Council and national Government.

Steve Parry, acting Chair of the Coalition, said “With co-operation on this scale we intend to challenge in a real way homelessness, housing squalor, housing for profit rather than for people, and the payment of £millions to overseas tax havens for so-called emergency and temporary accommodation” 

He emphasised that “the Coalition is bringing together those that build homes with those that occupy empty properties, those that help feed the homeless and those that will be opening up community night shelters, those that have a vision for all to have a right to shelter and those who are advocating for those discriminated against by our local authority due to vulnerability or disability.”

It is a welcome sign of possible change that Larissa Reed, the newly appointed Executive Director for Neighbourhoods, Communities and Housing at the City Council will be spending an hour discussing the policy and practice of the council.

Local housing campaigner Daniel Harris said ” The time has come for change, for too long vulnerable people have been exploited and neglected, all whilst greedy landlords line their pockets at the expense of people’s lives.

Standards in some places have improved recently but we have a huge crisis with government funding cuts which are hitting the most vulnerable, recent government figures show Brighton and Hove already underperform against national average standards, this is a great concern”.

Council residents, leaseholders, private renters, the homeless, and those in temporary accommodation will be working together and participating in workshops ranging from Community led housing to ‘Alternative housing choices and well-being in later life’, from Living Rents to the horrors of some privately rented housing, from accessibility to the need for respect to be shown to those who are disabled or vulnerable.

To Book Tickets To The Housing Coalition Be Quick

Organisations involved include:

a. B&HCC Tenants

b. Brighton and Hove Pensioners Group

c. Brighton Benefits Campaign

d. Brighton People’s Assembly

e. Bunker Self-Build Housing Co-operative

f. Community Land Trust

g. Community Night Shelter

h. Co-operative Housing in Brighton and Hove (CHIBAH)

i. ETHRAG

j. Good Health Projects

k. Invisible Voices

l. Justice for Tenants

m. Living Rents Campaign

n. Love Activists

o. Mutual Aid in Sussex (MAIS)

p. NFA Residents Association

q. Opsafe

r. Sussex Economic Partnership