Two Brighton properties to stop housing homeless people

Posted On 15 Mar 2023 at 8:33 pm

Two properties in Brighton where homeless people have been placed by the council are to close by the end of this month.

One of them, Hyman Fine House, in Burlington Street, Kemp Town, was made available late last year as the homeless charity St Mungo’s quit dilapidated premises in St Catherine’s Terrace, Hove.

St Mungo’s runs the “No Second Night Out” service on behalf of Brighton and Hove City Council, with 45 beds at the old Jewish Care home.

The second property is Windsor Court, in Windsor Street, Brighton, where up to 40 people at a time have been given temporary housing.

Conditions at Windsor Court have repeatedly been criticised by politicians and campaigners while an experienced detective told an inquest four years ago that the property was well known to Sussex Police.

Today (Wednesday 15 March) Green councillor Siriol High-Jones said: “Members will remember that this administration stopped using Kendal Court (in Newhaven).

“And we are now decanting Windsor Court – a 40-unit Baron Homes scheme – as part of our programme of reducing temporary accommodation costs.

“Twenty-seven properties here are currently empty but remain on our system during the 28-day notice period. The scheme will be empty on Friday 31 March.”

Councillor Hugh-Jones told the council’s Housing Committee: “We are now about to lose No Second Night Out, funding for which ends at the end of March, and our winter provision.

“This leaves a hole in our short-stay shelter provision so officers are looking at how to mitigate this.

“The winter provision accommodation for rough sleepers is being extended into spring and will continue to offer off-street provision for women.

“This is only temporary, however. Officers are in negotiation with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) for additional rough sleeping resource beyond this point.”

She also said: “It was known by St Mungo’s in June 2022 that funding was only available until Friday 31 March 2023.

“St Mungo’s were aware of this when moving into the current site in December 2022.

“Although it is disappointing that the funding for No Second Night Out will not continue beyond March, funding for rough sleepers with ‘medium/high’ support needs has been secured from DLUHC.

“This is an identified gap in provision. The council is currently identifying partners who can take this project forward and is also in discussions with DLUHC to secure additional resources to support this work.”

Councillor Hugh-Jones said that there were 36 individuals currently staying in the No Second Night Out premises.

She said: “Of these, eight do not have a connection to Brighton and Hove and are being helped to ‘reconnect’ to where their local connection is.

“Other individuals will have plans in place to assist them to secure accommodation before Friday 31 March and they are being encouraged to engage in these.

“Although No Second Night Out will stop from Friday 31 March, Brighton and Hove will still be providing 312 units of commissioned accommodation for rough sleepers.”

  1. Jane Reply

    These facilities should be moved to much smaller facilities outside the city centre so they don’t ruin the lives of people that live and work locally. This is what they do in every other city.

    • Benjamin Reply

      No, they don’t, Jane. Simply reading the Housing, Homelessness and
      Rough Sleeping Strategy for various local authorities evidences this is not the case. Please refrain from making comments that contain disingenuous misinformation in future. All they serve is to cloud the issue of homelessness and create greater problems.

  2. Henry Makepeace Reply

    How about lewes?

  3. Hovelassies Reply

    Despite the abysmal, and sometimes tragic outcomes, for people being housed and local communities this council has learned NOTHING from the experiences with the West Pier Project, Windsor Court, Seafield Rd, Norton Rd, Smart Seaview Hotel. Why BHCC and St Mungos thought for one moment the same problems would not recur in Fine Hyman House is beyond comprehension. The hard lessons have been dealt over and over and too many people have suffered. Yet the idiot decision makers never learn. Recipes for disaster. The people in charge of allowing these decisions to be made and running thee premises are negligent, irresponsible and never held to account. Adult Social Care and Housing leadership in BHCC is pitifully inept. NEVER house more than 6 people in one place, ensure there is 24-hour supervision, engage the local community on an ongoing basis, seek their input BEFORE setting up any such premises, have a one strike you are out policy….

    • Alan alan Reply

      Bless you Hovelassies(kind of!). Your points are statistically correct, this is truly a National problem and Brighton & Hoves biggest issue is the universally known kindness of its inhabitants…hence the influx of opportunist’s….if local councils do not engage then I am afraid Poverty will dictate!

  4. Tim Reply

    I find it highly amusing reading the comments here.

    The real elephant in the room is that all the models for either supported, temporary or even SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency protocol) housing are missing one thing. The imbeciles that are running the projects have never been homeless themselves and therefore have no real appreciation of the problems encountered daily by the homeless community.

    It’s mainly middle class do gooder social work types that run St Mungo’s. The public perception of St Mungo’s is of ministering angels going out in the small hours to minister to the needs of the dispossessed. Within the homeless community there is a visceral hatred and contempt for this so called charity. Some vulnerable homeless people have been harassed by their workers to the point where they leave the area rather than put up with it (How would you like to be woken up in the small hours on a continual basis, this is deliberate policy) I know of clients that have had to either use cease and desist notices and injunctions just to be left alone because of these strong arm tactics. Bear in mind St Mungo’s has no statutory powers. Essentially all the role that St Mungo’s plays is a hatchet man because the council is to squeamish to deal with things in house themselves.
    If you look at agencies like St Mungo’s and supported housing in Brighton in general, it’s a giant corrupt industry which the council has a very unhealthy relationship with.

    St Mungo’s is a business masquerading as a charity, it benefits from its charitable status in terms of not having to pay certain taxes I.e VAT. The day that St Mungo’s is deprived of its charitable status, I for one will celebrate. They make a vast amount of money from peoples misery without providing tangible results. The support work on offer is completely substandard and unprofessional (I used to train support staff at the Richmond Fellowship) They have also been roundly condemned by the press (Broadsheets) for the illegal ICE Patrols with the involvement of the Immigration service. They also have blood on their hands. A few years back in Brighton they were involved in the illegal deportation of a Romanian couple who had leave to stay in the UK. During the process the young woman miscarried and lost her child. Subsequently they returned to the UK fully vindicated. I also had the profound sadness of witnessing their arrest at Off The Fence.

    Hyman Fine House is a run down slum not to put too finer point on it. It’s the same model that St Mungo’s used for the Smart Sea View Hotel. I’ve been privy to seeing the inside of Hyman Fine House. The thing that concerned me the most is the fire detectors hanging loose from the ceilings and probably non functioning? Rooms with no furniture or bedding, urine soaked carpets need I say anymore. But hey ho it’s only homeless people so what, you should be so grateful.

    Oh yes the other elephant in the room is that I’m a street homeless person commenting on this situation.

    • Sd Reply

      Thank you for sharing this, Tim. What is the best way forward, in your opinion? What would really help street homeless people?

      Take care. I wish you all the best.

      • Tim Reply

        One thing that I would like to see put to bed is the burgeoning industrialisation of homelessness, and the way that homeless people in Brighton are treated as a commodity to generate money for some extremely greedy and ruthless organisations (some are millionaires because of this) Don’t tack onto the business the moniker of CIC (Community Interest Company) it’s a virtual signalling con. I believe that St Mungo’s are getting about £400 in housing benefit per client (Weekly) that they have in their these delapidated properties. Does poor old gullible Joe Public get tax paying value? I don’t think so.

        I actually question that local politicians want to end homelessness when there is such a wonderful revenue stream generated from homelessness, as I said before there is a very unhealthy relationship with council officials and proprietors of some of these organisations.

        Those that genuinely want to try and alleviate the problem and he’s there are some. Notably not CIC’s and generally charities seem to be in a minority. Sussex Homeless support and Jim Deans, Pastor Andrew Ramage from Brighthelm Church are a few but as they tend to tell the the council that the “Emperor has no clothes” they get marginalised.

        I don’t have an answer to what I realise is a problem that down here is very politicised. I really would like to see more individuals with experience of homelessness on either the boards of some of these businesses and organisations actually being asked what they need and providing a source of valuable input. BHC’s Firstbase is one of the few that employs former homeless and former addicts as support workers and this model works very well.

        As for myself thank you for supportive comments. I do have a local connection so maybe I’ll get housed eventually but as I refuse to engage with St Mungo’s who effectively act as a gatekeeper it’s not such an easy endeavour.

        • sd Reply

          Thank you so much for replying Tim. You would be an excellent person to sit on some of the boards you mention. You are right, they need to hear, and decide to fully understand, the voices of people who are street homeless.

          Take care, Tim. I hope that things improve for your personally really soon.

    • Steve L Reply

      Are you not responsible as an articulate homeless person for your own homelessness? Instead you bleat on about people who have taken of the thankless task of trying to help people who are often incapable due personal incompetence in bad situation?
      What are you doing to alleviate the situation ? Negative negative negative ! That seems to be all you are. Did you for a second consider going to Hyman and cleaning the carpets and showing the residents how to look after the place?
      What do you think should be done?

  5. Alan alan Reply

    Bless you Tim….that sounds horrendous and any decent minded folk would concur…..St Mungos !!

  6. Kemptown cat Reply

    I’m very sorry but the idea that Brighton and Hove don’t have thier success stories is absolutely insane, particularly for people genuinely in need who aren’t picky because they are genuinely in need.

    I fully understand that every place is susceptible to the relaties of people being people but can you imagine how dead some of these people would be if they’d not been houses and how obvious it is that so many people try and access emergency accommodation who don’t need it because they kick off about the wrong postcode and a sea view

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