14 January 2015

Surge in solar power, improved private rented shared homes and 32 more affordable rented homes proposed for Brighton & Hove

Two hundred and nine solar PV installations have been fitted on Brighton & Hove City Council homes as part of an ongoing drive to use solar power to tackle fuel poverty and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

The installations – which each constitute multiple solar panels -  serve 472 tenants and 26 leaseholders and currently more than 150 more are planned as well as 5 more communal systems for sheltered schemes.

A drive to tap into the benefits of district heating, where neighbourhoods share a highly efficient boiler, is being examined in the city following a £130,000 grant which will cut CO2 emissions and provide cheaper energy.

The Warm Homes Healthy People programme in partnership with the council’s public health team is also currently delivering a range of interventions to support those at greatest risk of death and illness as a result of cold housing. This year’s programme includes the distribution of 10,000 leaflets and 12,000 room thermometer cards and advice on reducing fuel bills and keeping warm as well as providing ‘warm packs’ to rough sleepers in the city.

 

Residents in shared Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and those living nearby will see improved management standards under proposals to extend HMO landlord licensing.

Today’s Housing Committee will hear evidence as well as options on extending discretionary licensing for HMOs to further wards in the City. Councillors will also be asked to approve plans to consult on a scheme to licence smaller HMOs in Brunswick & Adelaide; Central Hove; East Brighton; Goldsmid; Preston Park; Regency; Westbourne.

The proposal follows the growth in the private rented sector in the city and a range of issues emerging including higher levels of noise complaints, anti-social behaviour, poor fire safety and health inequalities.

Councillors will also discuss a proposal to publish the HMO register online.

 

More than 30 new homes for affordable rent are planned under the council’s New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme to help tackle the city’s housing crisis.

Twelve new council homes for affordable rent are planned on council land in Kensington Street, Brighton. One of the new homes will be wheelchair accessible. 

Housing Committee is also being asked to agree feasibility studies, design and development for a block of 20 flats at a former housing office Selsfield Drive, off Lewes Rd.

Reports on these initiatives and others will be discussed at Brighton & Hove City Council’s Housing Committee today (14 January 2015) – read the reports here http://bit.ly/1suNjhX