New lease of life for hundreds of council homes
A multi-million pound project to refurbish 499 council properties to provide homes for some of Brighton & Hove’s most vulnerable residents is nearing completion.
Work has started on upgrading the final 29 homes in a groundbreaking partnership which has unlocked £28.5m to improve council housing in the city.
Brighton & Hove City Council set up a not-for-profit, independent, charitable company called Brighton & Hove Seaside Community Homes five years ago, to raise investment to help improve homes to meet the government’s Decent Homes Standard.
Seaside Homes is leasing the 499 homes from the council and paying for the necessary improvements. Refurbishment work is carried out by the council in partnership with its contractor, Mears. The investment provided by Seaside Homes will enable all council homes in the city to meet the Decent Homes Standard.
Properties are let at below market rents and go to households who are homeless where the council has a duty to provide accommodation.
Hundreds of residents have been already been housed, and tenants are expected to start moving into the final 29 homes early this year.
The money the council receives from the leases is also being used to improve other council tenants’ homes.
Councillor Anne Meadows, chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Housing and New Homes Committee, said: “It is great to see people moving into homes which have been given a new lease of life. Refurbishing and investing in our homes in this way has been a real achievement and demonstrates the way in which the council and partners are working together to tackle the city’s housing crisis.”
Chair of Seaside Homes, Roy Crowhurst, said: "To have brought 470 properties back into use over five years is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates what can be achieved when organisations work in partnership.
“At a time of high rents and leasing costs, this partnership enables families to live in good quality self-contained accommodation in Brighton & Hove.”