Living in one of the country’s most expensive cities, it’s clear we need to increase the availability of genuinely affordable homes.
Despite this, we learnt this week that government has withdrawn funding supporting community land trusts.
These trusts are not-for-profit organisations, led by the community, building genuinely affordable homes.
Despite colossal demand, the closure of the government fund will leave these vital projects in limbo.
Council figures show that the end of a private tenancy is the leading reason for homelessness in the city while local charity Clock Tower has revealed a 40 per cent increase in youth homelessness in the past two years.
Despite this, landlords have held the power to evict tenants with no reason since the 1988 Housing Act.
Greens will keep up pressure until the government finally repeals this law.
We’ve secured lower rents on council homes, making them genuinely affordable and lobbied for greater support for community land trusts.
This week I was pleased to vote for planning applications for increased homelessness support. But there is much more to do.
We need to see “housing first” become a priority – this ends rough sleeping by providing people with a home first and with support identified thereafter.
The number of homeless families in B&Bs nationally has grown 187 per cent in a decade – while the cost of putting homeless families in B&Bs mushroomed 780 per cent over the same period.
That’s why we want to see more temporary and emergency accommodation brought “in-house” rather than lose public money to costly private providers.
We will continue to do everything in our power locally, in collaboration with other political parties and community and voluntary sector organisations to prevent homelessness.
Following the council elections, we have worked with the Labour council to ensure that our pledges on housing become part of a constructive plan to tackle housing and homelessness in the city.
This includes a commitment on building new, genuinely affordable homes.
Greens will also keep calling out failed government policy and demand interventions that work for our city.
Tackling our housing crisis may not be simple but we must put our communities, not the market, first.
Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty is the convenor of the opposition Greens on Brighton and Hove City Council.
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