Dont Moan Take Action

Speaking to my sister today got me thinking and I actually said this to her

Stop moaning about your housing situation and take action, do something about it?

Granted she is a mother of two girls under the age of 2. My sister who was up until 2014 was living in a flat in Brighton and Hove, sadly a knock came to the door one day and it was a council officer, my sister answered and they said this is a council property you are illegally subletting.

For months my sister was getting letters for the landlord and were left unopened as the landlord move away to live with a partner, never did my sister think she was actually sub-letting a council property.

Anyway my sister assisted with the councils investigation to take action against the so called dodgy landlord, who not only has taken advantage of my sister, but also lied to the council and state and profited from council property.

To my sisters amazement she was then told she had to move out by Brighton and Hove city Council, leaving her homeless.

My sister ended up moving into a family members spare room and was on the council waiting list. She then after 10 years and no success found out she was pregnant, up until this point she was working.

The council placed her in private rented accommodation with a long term tenancy agreement, I think 10 years. She was in Band D, she as told me today she is spending £5 per day on electric, as her flat doesn’t have central heating. She told me its full of damp and on top of that her second baby girl arrived this year.

The council then remove her from the council housing waiting list, after evicting her from her previous place, through no thought of her own.

Ive learned that you need to take action

Its hard to know where to start with taking on the council or ensuring your rights are being met, I discovered this first hand. Being homeless myself had its challenges, but from day one I know I had to speak out and take action.

We have choices on where we go or how we go about it, but I soon discovered that I wasn’t alone in my crisis and struggle, I discovered that their were many like me living in a temporary and emergency accommodation nightmare.

The press in the city are kind to those who have been marginalised but they only publish a few stories, to get a real voice I set up this blog and started writing and evidencing the issues people and myself faced.

I believe this continued partnership will eventually lead to better prospects for locals in terms of secure and affordable accommodation. The Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition which launched their website this week, is an organisation bringing thousands in the city together, collaborating for all our futures.

In conclusion I’ve seen many people speak out and help to change the futures of others and themselves, they’ve been brave and often been persecuted for this bravery by the establishment. I’ve come to see that, we need to have a no fear attitude and follow through until we are happy with the outcome.

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


 

Theresa May’s Tories Taking Britain Backwards. Mansion Blocks For Rich Confirmed!

The Tories Plan To Reverse The Housing Crisis They Helped To Create

As a housing campaigner I have been very interested in what both the Conservatives and Labour have to offer people in terms of Housing and Stability, the other day I wrote about the Labour Manifesto today I scrutinise Theresa May’s housing plan for Britain.

May Promises To Reverse Tories Own Rough Sleeping Levels To 2010 By 2022

Tories Promise to go BACK to 2010 Rough Sleeping Levels by 2022.
Tories Promise to go BACK to 2010 Rough Sleeping Levels by 2022.

So basically what Theresa May is telling us is that since 2010 when the Conservative Party have been in Government, they have failed to tackle Rough Sleeping and Homelessness and in fact have doubled rough sleeping numbers.

So May’s pledge is that after 12 years of a Tory Government if she is elected we will as a country go back to 2010 levels. I have to ask those reading this where is the progression? is she admitting the first 7 years under the Tories were a complete failure? if so why should we trust her again?

Rough Sleeping Statistics Autumn 2016, England Department for Communities and Local Government
Source: Rough Sleeping Statistics Autumn 2016, England Department for Communities and Local Government

So Called Homes For All

So Called Homes For All
Tories promise much of the same. Can you currently afford to buy a home? Can you get onto the housing ladder? is your rent price fair?

There is nothing radical here, the Tories are sticking with the Housing Bill enacted under David Cameron, which essentially means more council homes will be sold than built, without council housing, the most vulnerable and in need will never have a secure home.

Single parents being hit by the benefit cap will not be able to afford the high rents  we currently have as they will be forced to continue living within the private sector with bad landlords who put profit before people.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour have promised 500,000 brand new council homes, plus another 500,000 truly affordable homes, whilst suspending the Right To Buy until local authorities can ensure our council stock is not being sold off to landlords or for students. Labour will bring back the family home!

Mansion Blocks For The Rich To Replace Old Council Homes

High Quality, Unaffordable Mansion Blocks To Replace Old Council Homes
High Quality, Unaffordable Mansion Blocks To Replace Old Council Homes. For The Few NOT the MANY

What a disgraceful pledge from the Tories, they want to build Mansion Blocks, in recent years we’ve seen these pop up, none of them are affordable homes and many are sold off to foreign investors due to them being unaffordable to locals.

My fear has been confirmed in the Tories own words they have just confirmed all the council housing build post world war two will be demolished and not replaced like for like. Forcing families to other parts of the country.

New Council Housing Deals

Council Housing Deals
Tories Using the word Council Housing during a General Election.

Privatisation, Privatisation, Privatisation; they use the word council housing once, no actual numbers or pledges other than opening up the Right to Buy, when many cant even get on the housing register, who are they opening it up to, Housing Association Tenants?

We already knew this, this was a David Cameron policy, which will mean even less stock as again for every 5 Council House’s Sold under the right to buy, only 1 was build, losing 4 family homes, this has been extended and under these plans the tories are allowing property developers to build cheap homes which they want to flog after 10 – 15 years when they are no longer under warranty.

Can we really trust the Tories with housing?

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Every time we have had a Labour Government (Excluding New Labour) the country have build missives amounts of council housing, this trend has always been reversed by the Tories.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party will not only stop the privatisation of our Countries Housing, they will reverse the Housing Crisis and Get People back into work building homes for the many, not the few.

Read the Tory Manifesto Policy Here

Read the Labour Manifesto Policy Here

Final reminder, Labour published there costings and how the plan to fund, the Tories have not.