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.
This week I have been inundated with messages from people locally who are literally at crisis point, and with the recent Council Housing Waiting List cull Brighton and Hove City Council must be inundated with appeals from people desperate to stand a change of securing a secure home.
There is no denying that the tories have well and truly banged the final nail in the coffin, this is evident in documentaries around homelessness. The right to buy was a killer policy for the vulnerable and hard working class, whilst they did allow many to move forward and own there own home, many were sold and are now collecting revenues from Housing benefit payments, not going back into society but instead to private landlords.
With Neil Vowles from the Argus reporting today that letting agents are charging up to £660 in letting fees and the recent decision to cut the councils deposit guarantee scheme, how are those affected ever able to find a home.
Housing Waiting List
We know many have been removed I estimate well over 10,000. Certainly we need a figure and soon from the labour council, I call on all members to oppose this new allocations policy which was devised by council officers and signed off by Labour, the greens passed some amendments and in the end were forced to go with this on an initial review basis.
I am personally collating evidence which would be useful to overturn this barbaric cull from a so called democratic socialist council, its evident we need to have a firmer hand in housing decisions locally and councillors willing to stand up for Brightonians who for too long have been taken for granted.
We are being moved out of the city at an alarming rate, we had the sad news today another person from the streets has died and regular emergency services dispatches to emergency accommodation buildings, not to mention the fact ceilings and buildings are crumbling at the seams.
The fact is the only people who benefit from this new allocations policy are the temporary accommodation private limited companies who are deliberately keeping people in benefit traps and in unaffordable accommodation, these are the people who benefit from this policy the private rental sector, which includes those who pay absolutely NO UK tax.
Where is the justice in that?
What Can You Do To Help?
I have quite a few cases now which need to be highlighted in a way which really shows the devastating effect this is having on peoples lives, some of whom have also been hit by the recent Tory scandal of a policy the brutal benefit cap.
An attack on families and more importantly single parents.
I am looking to do a video and need a socialist to capture the essence of these peoples stories and how this has further isolated them any sense of content and true happiness in a safe home of their own.
If you can help get in touch.
Also I am looking to launch a campaign to get this policy scrapped, and an immediate consultation with those removed.
Over 10,000 people deserve a voice, it was only last year I was telling people more people with a mortgage responded at over 20% compared to those who are homeless, only 4%.
There were also lies saying the LGBT Community were consulted on this at the Community Safety Forum, this was not true, the intention might have been to discuss that, but in fact the person breached data protection and discussed a live case in front of the whole forum, not even discussing the allocations policy, but thats another story.
Standing up for the LGBT Community
I’ve been shocked at the number of LGBT people suffering from this policy and having listened to many of there personal stories and their life challenges, it got me wondering are we as a council really putting equality at the heart of polices, because when it comes to housing certainly not.
If you are LGBT and have been affected by the new allocations policy, get in touch via the contact form above.
Appeal Letter Templates
With the many messages I am getting from those desperate not to be removed is the burden to help, so I will be getting some template letters done to help the most vulnerable who cannot deal with this shock right now.
I understand its hard, many are taken aback with grief and fear of the continues sacrifices they have to make, cramped conditions, health worries, unliveable mould pits, the future seems bleak, but we have a chance to change this and get this policy scrapped.
Check back for updates or email me and I will put you on the list to send to when they are complete.
You are fighting for your families and you are fighting for a home in Brighton and Hove, the city many of you love and were born.