Greens call for lower ‘living rents’ for new council houses

Green Group of councillors on Brighton & Hove City Council call on Labour administration to action a pledge to provide affordable new council homes.

Cllr David Gibson

Cllr David Gibson

GREEN spokesperson on housing, Cllr David Gibson, will present a motion to the Housing and New Homes Committee today, Wednesday, June 17 which argues that the new council housing development at Findon Road in Whitehawk provides an opportunity to do things differently.

He will propose that council rents at the new flats should be set at an affordable level for people on low incomes and that all council rents on new builds should be pegged to general inflation or less, rather than local property market rates.

Cllr. Gibson said: “In January, thanks to fresh information, the previous chair of Housing pledged to see how rents could be reduced on the new homes that the council is building. I’m therefore concerned that the housing committee is considering setting rents on such homes of up to £1000 a month, more than twice as much as the regular council rent. The government calls these ‘affordable’, yet more than half of those in need 20,000 can only afford half this rent.”

“I’m proposing that at the Findon Rd development, we should charge a ‘living rent’, or a regular council ‘social rent’, to ensure that it is within the means of most people on the housing waiting list. We are also calling on rents for new build properties to be linked to the cost of living and NOT to private sector “market” rents, which are continuing to soar in this city.”

He added: “Thanks to the previous administration we now have 250 new council homes in the pipeline. If councillors agree with my proposal to work on developing lower rent options for the 58 properties before the committee we will be able to offer homes that are truly affordable. Other councils have built new council homes at social rents. It would be a real shame if we don’t also find a way here. Otherwise tenants in low paid work are barely better off working. No one else is currently providing new homes at lower rents so the council is the only hope.”

 

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