A thousand truly affordable homes in Brighton and Hove

Today we formally launch our plan to deliver a thousand truly affordable homes for Brighton and Hove.

Half will be to rent at 60% of market rents, with the rest available for shared ownership on average incomes. This is 20% less than what is usually described as “affordable” but which rarely is in the city’s inflated property market.

They will be affordable to people on the National Living Wage, costing tenants no more than 40% of their household income on those levels of pay. The properties wont be subject to Right to Buy, and will be allocated on the same basis as our council homes.

The first three sites are being brought forward in Portslade, Coldean and Whitehawk, after the project was given full cross-party backing in the city council last year.

The thousand “joint venture” homes will supplement our programme of council house building, which is limited by the borrowing cap imposed by the Tory Government. However we are delivering 500 new council homes through new build projects like Kite Place and by buying back properties lost under Right to Buy.

We are delivering these much-needed new homes in an equal partnership with a housing association, Hyde Housing, with equal contributions of land and finance. A not-for-profit project, all money from rents will be re-invested in the housing we need.

No council assets other than the land being used to build the housing on are committed. No residents will be moved from existing homes. These are new affordable homes in communities that need them across our city.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of that scheme, this isn’t comparable to the Haringey LDV, as our local MP and former council colleague Lloyd Russell-Moyle has said:

“I’ve explained how in Brighton, under Warren’s leadership, we have not engaged anything like HDV. Our joint venture is not kicking people out of council homes to put them in to the private sector. Our joint venture has backing of full council, will have a number of social rents, will be additional to council home building not substitute to it, has been consulted with members well, with Warren presenting to many Labour meetings.”

“Our joint venture is with a non-profit housing association this is the why it’s right for any member raise concerns about something like HDV but wrong to make parallels with Brighton…there’s just no comparison with Haringey and Brighton & Hove.”

With our housing market under pressure by over 5000 people moving down from London each year, with a significant amount of our housing stock currently in the student letting market, with a worsening homelessness crisis made worse by Tory welfare policy, with our public sector crying out for homes their staff can afford, I’m not waiting another day to start delivering every home I can to meet that need.

Author: Warren Morgan

@warrenmorgan

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