6 November 2014

Hundreds of homes delivered as new draft housing strategy unveiled

More than 550 new affordable homes have been built in Brighton & Hove since 2009 while £9m has been invested in improving the private sector including energy efficiency measures saving 1,592 tonnes of harmful CO2.

A drive to improve homes in the private rented sector has seen more than 1,795 licenses issued to smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in five targeted areas with intensive housing advice in the last year preventing more than 2,810 from becoming homeless.

The figures come as the council unveils its draft housing strategy for 2015 which sets out proposals to tackle the city’s housing crisis including a focus on building affordable family homes and working with community-led organisations. Residents can tell us what they think here

The report will go to housing committee next week (12 November).

Family homes would be prioritised in development and where possible more social rented council homes through the New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme using council land.

Fresh support is promised to community land trusts and co-operatives as well as other non-profit community controlled organisation to deliver homes and bring empty homes back into use. In 2012 the council supported local housing co-ops and community groups secure £650,000 from the government to provide 38 beds-paces in 6-8 properties.

The new strategy has identified three overarching priorities that reflect the fundamental housing needs of the city.  These are:

Improving housing supply covering new affordable housing, family housing, community land trust and co-operatives and student housing
Improving housing quality through decent warm homes, private rented sector and HMO licensing
Improving housing support that includes housing related support, supporting older people, supporting BME and LGBT communities

Cllr Alex Phillips, deputy chair of the housing committee, said:

“Brighton and Hove is in the midst of a housing crisis. The private rented sector has grown larger and rents have risen dramatically as homelessness increases and fuel poverty leaves older residents forced to decide whether to eat or heat.

“Over the past few years we’ve built the first new council homes for a generation and plan more through the New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme.

“We’ve brought all our existing council homes up to Decent Homes standards and introduced licensing to improve conditions for residents living in smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation in targeted wards.

“This latest strategy will focus on key priorities including delivering badly needed family homes, support for non-profit community housing organisations and better insulated homes to help reduce foul poverty.

“We’re also determined to tackle climate change by increasing energy efficiency to cut CO2 emissions as well as tapping into more solar power.”

For more info see Housing Strategy 2015 draft report

Residents can tell us what they think right up until Sunday 14 December 2014 through the council's consultation portal here

The council will also accept written submissions emailed to housing.strategy@brighton-hove.gov.uk or posted to Housing Strategy Team, 4th Floor Bartholomew House, Bartholomew Square, Brighton, BN1 1JE.