New council homes coming soon

Almost 350 homes will soon be built in the city, with rent levels lower than previously possible for the proposed scheme.  

Innovative changes to the existing joint venture partnership with The Hyde Group were discussed by councillors today (21 October).

In 2017, the council started the joint venture partnership, called Homes for Brighton & Hove, to speed up the delivery of low-cost homes.

Since then, national rules and funding models for the development of affordable housing have changed. At the same time, building costs have risen faster than house prices. This puts pressure on the financial viability of the schemes.

Opportunities and additional funding

Now councillors have agreed changes to way the Homes for Brighton & Hove partnership operates to increase funding opportunities for the venture. 

Both Housing Committee and Policy & Resources Committee met virtually to consider together switching the Homes for Brighton & Hove partnership from a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) to a development company.

This operational change will allow the partnership to attract additional funding. The rented homes will also come directly into council ownership with lower rents than previously possible.

The plans for the first two sites will now go ahead, which will see 346 homes built on two sites on Coldean and Portslade.

Good news

Councillor David Gibson, co-chair of the Housing Committee said: “It’s such good news that we have found a way round the setbacks. This scheme is now set to deliver 173 more rented homes for the council at significantly lower rents as well as shared ownership homes. I’m personally committed to seeing this go forward.  

“This goes a long way towards our ambitious joint target with Labour of 800 additional council houses and also towards our other target of massively increasing the provision of more truly affordable housing. It has not been an easy year in which to take projects forward. 

“This home building is vital to our city’s economy and the wellbeing of the people who will live in a home of their own.”

Positive step

Councillor Gill Williams, opposition lead for housing said: “We are working together to build more homes in the city that will make a real difference to the people who need them. 

“There is a national housing crisis and we feel that acutely here in Brighton & Hove. We set ambitious targets to provide hundreds of additional council homes, and hundreds more affordable homes and the proposal agreed today a positive step towards meeting those targets.

“We are always open to innovative and creative ways of building more affordable homes for our residents, and that’s what we have agreed to here today.”

The new rent levels proposed range from 29% to 21% lower than those in the original business plan formed in 2017.