Housing is a massive issue in Brighton & Hove. House prices rose from an average of £50,000 in 1995, to £295,000 in 2015 and it has the highest share of privately renting households (32.5%) of any town and city in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics. Rents have also gone up steeply.
Many people can no longer afford to live here. In 2012 the Council found that almost 88,000 households in Brighton & Hove (72 per cent) cannot afford market housing (either to buy or rent) without some form of subsidy or spending a disproportionate level of their income on housing costs. One in 69 people in Brighton & Hove are homeless, according to Shelter.
At the last MAIS meeting we discussed what to organise this year and housing was something we were all keen to address, particularly following on from November’s talk on housing co-ops. At our next meeting on Weds 15 Feb at 7.30pm in Two Piers Housing Co-op (directions below) we will discuss and hopefully start to organise two ideas:
1) A walking or cycling tour of housing co-ops in the city in the Summer, so people can see first hand what these alternatives are like, talk to the people who set them up, and find out their limitations and possibilities.
2) A day of talks and workshops about alternatives to the current housing situation, which would bring many of the housing campaigns together for a day. This would be like the Co-operative Alternatives event we held last year, but focused just on housing. Ideas so far include having:
- Different organisations talk about their work on homelessness
- People talking from the Brighton Living Rent Campaign.
- People talking from SolFed about their housing campaigns, protesting letting agents fees, rent strikes.
- People from housing associations/council housing to speak about how they can expand the sector which provides the most affordable housing in the city.
- Workshops on housing co-ops, community land trusts, co-housing projects and/or self-build.
- People talking about efforts to set up a renters union in Brighton and/or getting speakers from renters unions in other cities.
Nothing is set in stone yet. If you have ideas about any of this and/or would like to help organise either of the above events, please come to our next meeting on Wednesday 15 January, 7.30pm at Two Piers, 3 Christchurch, Bedford Place, BN12QJ.
Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to come so we have an idea of numbers. We can also send you more detailed directions.