ePetition - Brighton & Hove City Council: Prioritise & Support Community Led Affordable Housing Over Private Developers in the City.

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Brighton & Hove City Council: Prioritise & Support Community Led Affordable Housing Over Private Developers in the City.

We the undersigned petition Brighton & Hove Council to prioritise community led housing over profit-led private developers when making council and brownfield land identified in the City Plan available for new homes in the city. We also call on them to explore how to make land financially viable for community self build so that the homes created on it can be truly affordable for local people for ever.

Brighton is in the middle of a deepening housing crisis. The city has the second largest rough-sleeping population in the country, one of the highest housing waiting lists and the second highest house prices in the UK. There are also thousands of families and key workers trapped in unsustainable housing situations because of the disastrous disconnect between average wages and average house prices alongside paying astronomical rents or being stuck with mortgages they can never pay off.

Unlike private developments evidence from across the country shows that community-led housing:

1) Creates truly affordable housing that STAYS AFFORDABLE
2) Reduces the need for social care in older people by creating SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITIES
4) REDUCE POLLUTION and congestion
5) Create truly COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES with beneficial infrastructure for neighbouring communities and provide a BOOST TO THEIR LOCAL ECONOMIES.

We recognise that land is at a premium in our small city as well as the huge challenges that local authorities face in delivering services to greater numbers of people with ever reducing budgets. However, we would argue that selling land to the highest bidder (generally private developers and corporations) is a false economy and does little to address the housing crisis. Private developers often prioritise profit over the needs of local communities, don’t build to the highest environmental standards and rarely deliver on their affordable housing targets. Large developments where the majority of the homes are for sale at full market value feed high house prices and drive out young people, families and key workers who can no longer afford to live in their home city.

With a thriving community led housing sector in Brighton, national grants available, and a public mood which wants to see fast action on housing and the environment; there has never been a better time for the city council to take a bold and powerful step to show its commitment to community led housing and have this innovation shared across the country and celebrated by its residents.

We acknowledge the good work already done by the council to support Community Led Housing but passionately believe that one of the most significant solutions to our city’s housing crisis is supporting and resourcing local people to build their own homes and communities. If spare land is always sold to the highest bidder at the highest price, we are selling out the people of our wonderful city to private business and their profit margins.

Further reading and research:

Benefits of cohousing Report September 2019, Bridport group/project, Dorset http://www.lse.ac.uk/geography-and-environment/research/lse-london/documents/Reports/Bridport-cohousing-report.pdf

Labour case for community led housing: http://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/12081_19-Land-for-the-Many.pdf

High environmental standards etc: http://www.grcc.org.uk/affordable-housing/community-led-housing-benefits

Who benefits from CLH? http://clhtoolkit.org/housing/who-benefits-community-led-housing-schemes

Evidence on benefits from Wikipedia including links to research: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community-led_housing

2017 speech from then housing minister Housing Minister Alok Sharma's to the Community-Led Housing Conference https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/community-led-housing

The economic case for CLH against selling land to private developers: https://neweconomics.org/2018/05/making-the-case / https://neweconomics.org/2018/05/making-the-case-5

Benefits research: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&ved=2ahUKEwjEue3akZnjAhUyt3EKHXNXDfsQFjAJegQIBxAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Flocality.org.uk%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F03%2FLocality_Small-Scale-Community-led-Housing.pdf&usg=AOvVaw3l4Oe8onnFgVxv699GwilK

Building and Social Housing Foundation now World Habitat – source

Started by: Andrea Jones (Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust & NUB Housing Group)

This ePetition runs from 21/10/2019 to 12/08/2020.

1359 people have signed this ePetition.

Council response

Due to the coronavirus situation the petition is now due to be presented to the Special Council meeting on the 13 August 2020


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Brighton & Hove City Council | Hove Town Hall | Hove | BN3 3BQ | Tel: (01273) 290000 | Mail: info@brighton-hove.gov.uk | how to find us | comments & complaints