How can we bring more community-led housing to Brighton and Hove?

Affordability, instability, damp, bad landlords, overcrowding – just some of the issues raised at Housing Crisis: Community Solutions 2017 on Saturday 24 June.

People from across Brighton, Hove and beyond came together to discuss their housing wants and needs, learn about some of the community-led alternatives and share ideas for what to do next. We also heard from some of the people working to change the situation, from people living in co-operatives to others campaigning for a living rent.

Tom Chance of the National Community Land Trust Network gave an overview of the different options when it comes to community-led housing – from co-operatives to cohousing, building form scratch to making use of an existing house or building. You can download his presentation here (ppt).

Helen Russell and Peter Clarke gave an overview of Brighton and Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) as well as the potential of a new community-led led housing hub for Brighton and Hove that could support new groups. You can download their presentation here (pptx).

Allie and Helen from two local housing co-operatives – Skylark and Rosa Bridge – talked about how they started and how they make their co-ops work. You can download their presentation here (pptx).

Thank you to all of the speakers, Hail Seitain! who provided the food and everyone who came along to help out on the day, or share their ideas.

What comes next?

We want to keep the conversation going so do get in contact on mais@riseup.net with any questions or ideas that need following up.

On Saturday 15 July there will be a chance to see the variety of what a housing co-operative could mean in practice. Housing co-operatives around Brighton and Hove have kindly agreed to show people around at set times during the day. There will also be people in Coachwerks, Hollingdean during the day to answer any questions, or just have a cup of tea. Find out more here.

On Wednesday 19 July there will be a meeting of Mutual Aid in Sussex (MAIS) at Coachwerks, 19a Hollingdean Terrace, BN1 7HB from 7.30pm. It will be a chance to meet other people who are interested in more community-minded and co-operative living and working, discuss ideas and work out where we can help each other out. It will also be a chance to follow up on any ideas or issues raised at the housing event on Saturday. If you can, please bring £1 towards the venue costs.

On Saturday 19 August Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition is holding a conference and launch event at the Crypt Community Centre, St George’s Road, Kemp Town, BN2 1ED. There will be a question and answer session with local MPs, and workshops on a variety of topics, including temporary & emergency accommodation, community-led housing, health and housing, legislation, accessibility, homelessness and affordability. Sign up for the event and find out more here at Eventbrite.

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