10 September 2019 Housing and homelessness

Plans for hundreds of new homes to help tackle city’s housing crisis

A plan to provide 1,500 more homes as part of a joint party approach between Labour and the Green group is on the agenda at Housing Committee on 18 September.

Plans outlined in a report to the committee include delivering 800 additional council homes alongside 700 other new low cost homes over the next four years.

Priorities set out in the work plan for the next four years also include:

  • Improving private rented housing
  • Alleviating homelessness and rough sleeping
  • Achieving carbon reduction and sustainability in housing

A report to the committee on the city’s housing supply sets out a range of initiatives being used to tackle the city’s housing shortage. These include: 

New Homes for Neighbourhoods 

Nearly 600 new council homes could be built through the New Homes for Neighbourhoods (NHFN) programme

Currently 30 homes are under construction in Selsfield Drive, Brighton, 12 in Buckley Close, Hangleton, and plans have been submitted for 42 homes in Victoria Road Portslade. 

We’ve built 184 new council homes through NHFN to date, including the recently completed homes in Kensington Street.

More projects are in the pipeline, including sites earmarked for development in Frederick Street, Brighton and Rotherfield Crescent, Hollingbury.

Small sites and ‘Hidden Homes’

More than 40 new council homes could be provided by converting empty or ‘hidden’ spaces in council properties, and building on small pockets of land. 

At Swallow Court, Whitehawk, a former office has been transformed into three flats, two extra flats have been provided at Elwyn Jones Court in Patcham and 10 extra homes will be provided on the Bristol Estate. 

Plans have been approved for three homes in Manor Road, Whitehawk and there are more potential sites are in the pipeline.

Home Purchase Policy

A total of 23 former council homes, sold under the Right to Buy, have been brought back into council ownership through the Home Purchase Policy scheme since it was launched in 2017. 

The council is in the process of purchasing 23 more properties and, subject to budget approval, it is hoped to increase the number purchased to 50 a year. 

Other affordable new homes

In addition to 800 new council homes, the council is contributing to other affordable housing schemes in the city with the aim of providing 700 low cost homes.

Plans for 242 homes in Coldean Lane – the largest single development of 100% affordable housing in the city for a generation – and 104 in Clarendon Place, Portslade have been approved. 

The sites are the first two developments by Homes for Brighton & Hove - an innovative partnership between the council and the Hyde Group building new low cost homes for rent and sale for lower income working households in the city. 

Tackling the housing crisis

Councillor John Allcock, the chair of housing, said: “Providing more affordable housing is a clear priority for us and it’s great that we’re able to work with our Green Party colleagues on our common agenda to deliver hundreds of more low cost homes in the city.

“The national housing crisis is particularly difficult in Brighton & Hove, and delivering these council homes will make a big difference to people struggling to afford housing in our city.

“The council has been delivering new homes for a number of years and we’ve built up the capacity and experience to ensure our projects are delivered quickly, effectively and to a high standard.

“In a year marking the centenary of the Addison Act, which paved the way for the mass programme of council house building across the country, it’s exciting to be working on such ambitious plans to build more housing for the future.”

Councillor David Gibson, the opposition lead for housing, added: “The severity of the affordable housing and homelessness crisis faced by the city demands a bold response.

“The pledge to the city made between Greens and Labour outlined our shared priority to tackle the city’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis.

“Labour Councillor John Allcock and myself as Green Housing lead are working closely together to do all we can to increase the supply of genuinely affordable housing in the city. 

“The important goal of 800 additional council homes will be a step change which aims to more than replace all the council homes lost over the last 12 years under the right to buy. 

“We are focusing our energies into tackling the city’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis – and in doing so, putting the city first.”

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