2 December 2016

Council calls on government for ‘truly affordable rented housing’

Brighton & Hove City Council is calling on the government to change the rules on councils building homes to help the worsening housing situation in the city and elsewhere.

Following a Notice of Motion about ‘replacing truly affordable rented housing’ at a Full Council meeting in October, Chief Executive Geoff Raw, has written to Chancellor Philip Hammond and Secretary of State for Department for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid calling for:

  • An end to the borrowing cap on HRA (Housing Revenue Account) borrowing to enable new homes to be built through prudential borrowing; and
  • A commitment to allow councils to retain sufficient income from the sale of higher value homes to fund its replacement with a socially rented council house.

The Notice of Motion was proposed by Councillor David Gibson, spokesperson for Housing & New Homes for the Green Group of Councillors, and seconded by Councillor Tom Druitt. The motion was carried unanimously.

Brighton & Hove currently has over 23,000 households on the housing register, 1,800 in temporary accommodation and a serious shortage of affordable homes. The city’s Housing Strategy also identifies that ‘renting or buying a good quality home in Brighton & Hove is a challenge for 88,000 households.’

The council’s innovative ‘New Homes for Neighbourhoods’ programme has ambitions to build at least 500 new homes on council housing land – with around 200 already complete or underway – and the council is currently investigating options setting up housing delivery partnerships to develop thousands more.