Brighton's housing backlog will take nine years to clear, says Shelter
A new report by homeless charity Shelter has calculated that it would take Brighton and Hove council nearly nine years to clear their housing backlog, placing Brighton in the bottom third of the country. Shelter says a total of 82 authorities would take between a decade and 33 years to clear their waiting lists.
I am horrified by these figures. With Christmas fast approaching, I can imagine how difficult it must be for families living in temporary accommodation, or waiting to be moved. And with the weather getting colder by the day, and Brighton grinding to a halt (as usual) after a couple of inches of snow have fallen,, it is unacceptable that we should even have one homeless person sleeping on the streets in the UK.
The Green Party believes that the Government has a key role to play in addressing the housing crisis by employing building workers in a large programme of environmentally sustainable social housing, creating both new homes and new jobs.
And locally, the Council has a responsibility to make extra efforts to ensure empty homes are brought into use - a real problem here in Brighton. Greens strongly advocate extra support to enable the homeless to get off the streets and into safe accommodation.
Mary M and Gordon B should be ashamed of themselves - I bet they'll be nice and warm this Christmas.
Caroline Lucas MEP, Green Party leader, and (hopefully) Brighton Pavilion's next MP, told today's Argus (not online yet): "Many families are forced to leave the city because they cannot find affordable homes, and workers such as nurses, teachers and local government workers struggle to afford to live in the communities they work for. The Council needs to introduce first time buyer grants, which would revive the private housing market, and stop the sale of council houses in order to put an end to this postcode lottery of housing."
I'm Ben Duncan, a Green Party councillor for the Queen's Park ward of Brighton. I'm also proud to be a member of Brighton and Hove City Council's Executive Cabinet, the first Green Party cabinet in the country.
I'm responsible for Communities, Equalities and Public Protection - a diverse portfolio including Community Development, Community Safety, Partnerships with the Police and Fire Service, Equalities, Grants to smaller organisations, Trading Standards, Licensing and Environmental Health, Animal Welfare and, not least, Public Health.
I'm also Brighton and Hove City Council's representative on Sussex Police Authority (one of only three Green Party police authority members in the country), the Community and Voluntary sector Forum and Brighton Unemplotyed Families centre Project.
I like hanging out with my eight-year-old son, cooking and eating vegan food, political philosophy, punk music and running, when I get time (not as often as a like).
I was educated in Hastings, Leeds and London and most recently did a Masters' Degree in Human Rights.