The other day the Argus asked me to provide a few words to respond to this question: What do you feel is the best solution to improve the homeless situation in Brighton? Here is what I said:
“The homelessness situation in Brighton will only improve if we build, build and then build more, but these new homes must not be for wealthy people cashing in on property prices in London, but for people who need to live and work locally. These homes need to be affordable, both to buy and to rent.
“Successive governments have allowed the loss of council houses through sale, and about a quarter of these sales return as homes for rent in the private sector at three or four times the social rents previously charged by the Council. This policy has been politically popular but a disaster for those who need to rent.
“We also need to protect that accommodation that provides somewhere to live for the most difficult to house, making sure that support is in place to help people manage their tenancies. Without the current supported housing projects in Brighton, the number of men and women on the streets in the city would be nearer 300.
“In Brighton the situation would be much, much worse had it not been for the current and previous administrations on the Council protecting funding for housing and support for those in the greatest need. This all-party approach has served the city well, but changes are needed at a national level to ensure that truly affordable homes are built to meet local need.”
That was my quick response to the Argus. What do you think is the best solution to improve the homeless situation in Brighton?