What are we to do about the housing crisis in Brighton and Hove?

(This item first appeared in the Brighton Argus on 10th September 2016)

What are we to do about the housing crisis in Brighton? Everyone wants something done but nobody wants to be impacted by the solution. Those living in the centre see the urban fringe as the site for development, while those in Mile Oak, Ovingdean and elsewhere think otherwise.

shipping-container

Inside one of our shipping container homes

Some argue going tall is the solution, others call for greater density. At Brighton Housing Trust, we have embraced short life housing on sites temporarily derelict, such as our shipping container homes developed with our partners QED Property (see here for examples of such ideas).

There is an increasing consensus that any new homes should not be high priced and all should help to address Brighton’s housing problems. The last thing we need are more top end homes for people cashing in and moving down from London, or worse still, having second homes here.

Some blame the City Council. I certainly don’t. We are fortunate to have an all-party consensus on housing, but the powers, and finances, of the Council are extremely limited.

We need a radical approach by the City Council, but it needs central government imagination and courage. Previously I have made the suggestion that Brighton should be declared a Housing Crisis Zone with the government giving sweeping powers and resources to the Council to built social housing for rent on publicly and privately owned land.

If we had more homes with social rents, we could combat homelessness and affordability, and save a shed-load of money on the ever-increasing housing benefit bill. It seems to me to be a no-brainer!

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3 thoughts on “What are we to do about the housing crisis in Brighton and Hove?

  1. We have a net immigration rate of 333,000 people per year into the UK. Immigrants that overwhelming want to settle in the South East. That’s far more than the entire population of the Brighton and Hove (population 273,400). Even if we magically doubled the number of houses in Brighton and Hove and made them dead cheap, that still wouldn’t even solve a single year’s intake of immigrants.

    Adding more social housing will do absolutely nothing to solve the housing crises, because it would be far too little too late.

    It takes Brighton and Hove about 5 years to approve just 13,200 new houses: http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/14270624.Blueprint_for_13_200_new_homes_in_Brighton_and_Hove_given_stamp_of_approval_after_five_years/?ref=mr&lp=20

    This doesn’t even cover the international immigration to Brighton and Hove over the same time period, let alone internal growth or internal immigration!

  2. Everyone knows it the governement Andy, but to take all the blame away from the council, sounds biased. Do BHT get council funding by any chance?

    I for one would call for Council Housing rather than the PC social housing rents, is there a need for them, yes. But not for those living in Temp or Emergency Accommodation.

    We need a full investigation into the biggest companies catering for Emergency and Temporary Accommodation in the City. Baron Homes, Helgor Trading Limited and BHT.

    Value for money and all. 🙂

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