“It’s time for the city council to be bold in seeking solutions for the housing crisis”, say Brighton & Hove Liberal Democrats.
Carrie Hynds, Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hove, says: “Many families and young people like me find it really difficult to get good housing in the city. The toxic combination of soaring house prices and static earnings make it mission impossible. The council house waiting list is just the tip of the iceberg, with Brighton & Hove seeing the highest numbers of rough sleepers outside of London and residents being continually priced out of their homes.”
Brighton & Hove Liberal Democrats have put forward a four-point plan:
1. HOMES: 40% affordable housing is a must
Brighton & Hove City Council must enforce the 40% affordable housing requirement in each new scheme. This is the council’s own target but it has become routine for developers to under deliver. The council extracting money in exchange for missed targets does nothing to provide the affordable homes we so desperately need.
2. OPENNESS: open, democratic, transparent planning
In order to build the homes we need, residents need to feel included and passionate about the changes, and this can’t happen if decisions are made behind closed doors. The secretive process used by Labour, Conservative and Green councillors for the King Alfred development was a disgrace. With no sign of the promised public consultation, it is time to scrap the scheme and start again with a clear, transparent process. The public have every right to participate in the future of the city and we need a fresh start at King Alfred.
3. PARTNERSHIPS: working with the right partners to secure the best deal
The council must be open-minded to working with other partners. Their own City Plan shows that the 1,000 homes over 5 years resulting from the proposed Joint Venture with Hyde falls far short of the total requirements for the city, and they are staking £53 million of taxpayers’ money with, as yet, not a single site identified. Working with other partners in the city must be explored, particularly in situations where the developer would contribute the build if the council contributes the land, so that there are no demands on the general fund or risk to frontline council services.
4. ECO-HOUSING: environmentally friendly and economical to run
Ecological housing is good for the environment and good for the people who live in them. It can apply to new-build housing and the refurbishment of existing buildings. The use of insulation, double glazing and efficient heating systems helps to reduce energy bills for households into the future, whilst use of sustainable and recycled building materials, where practical, can help the environment. Building new housing or converting older buildings near public transport and community facilities reduces the need to make as many car journeys. Built this way, ecological housing can be good for the environment and good for the people who live in them
Carrie added: “Brighton & Hove Liberal Democrats are working on a specific development proposal to deliver large-scale affordable housing in our city, with details to follow in the coming months. We face monumental problems when it comes to housing and it will take bold, innovative and deliverable solutions to secure homes for this generation and those to come.”